James Cameron Wanted To Avoid A "Stranger Things Effect" With Avatar Sequels

Avatar: The Way of Water introduces several new younger characters.


Although it's not yet certain whether future films in the Avatar franchise will definitely move forward, writer-director James Cameron was thinking ahead while in production on Avatar: The Way of Water. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Cameron explained to help future-proof younger actors quickly aging across each film, he shot scenes from Avatar 3 and Avatar 4 concurrently with the recently released sequel.

The Way of Water introduces several young characters, including Tuk (Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, who was 7 years old when cast and is now 13) and Spider (Jack Champion, who was 12 when cast but is now 18). Because Champion was "growing like a weed," the second, third, and first act of the fourth movie had to be done in one production.

"Otherwise, you get--and I love Stranger Things--but you get the Stranger Things effect where they're supposed to still be in high school [but] they look like they're 27," Cameron said. "You know, I love the show. It's okay, we'll suspend disbelief. We like the characters, but, you know."

All that's known so far about the upcoming sequels is, as producer Jon Landau says in the same piece, that each one will introduce audiences to new biomes. "Each movie is going to introduce audiences to new clans, new cultures on Pandora," Landau said. "Once we introduce a character, they stay a part of the ongoing evolution. We just add to it. So you can expect to see the Metkayina that you meet in this movie in subsequent movies. There are other clans that we'll introduce in movie 3 that you'll see in movie 4 and so on and so forth."

Avatar 2 is continuing to put up big numbers at the box office, nearing $500 million globally as Disney movies surpass $4 billion in 2022.

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