Avatar 2: Why You Should Care, Even if You Think Avatar Sucks

Everybody may have seen the original 2009 Avatar, but that doesn’t mean James Cameron’s sci-fi epic was for everyone, and in spite of its massive box office success, its detractors and critics seem more numerous than its hardcore fans. The long-awaited 2022 sequel Avatar 2, officially “Avatar: The Way of Water” doesn’t seem to have the same amount of hype as you’d see ahead of the latest installment in another blockbuster franchise like Marvel, Star Wars, DC, Fast & Furious – and while a longer wait between installments often means more excitement, it’s possible the thirteen-year wait has made moviegoers lukewarm on a return to the planet Pandora. That said, there’s a damn good reason to give this movie the benefit of the doubt: between Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, James Cameron’s track record for sequels is unmatched. And hey, the last two movies he made about stuff happening in the water, Titanic and The Abyss, weren’t too bad either. So, even if you don’t care about Jake Sully (that’s Sam Worthington’s character), Neytiri (Zoe Saldana’s), and the rest of the Na’vi denizens of the frontiers of Pandora (whose ranks now include Sigourney Weaver, playing a Na’vi teenager, and Kate Winslett) you can’t say you’re not at least a little bit curious what one of the 20th century’s most influential filmmakers has been doing for a good chunk of the 21st. Regardless of how good (or bad) James Cameron’s epic is, or how much money it rakes in, or whether we ever actually get Avatar 3, Avatar 4, and Avatar 5 (or Avatar 6 and Avatar 7, which Cameron apparently has ideas for) the fact that Avatar 2 exists is a fascinating anomaly in modern filmmaking. The Avatar 2 trailer got plenty of views, but with a 3-hour and 12-minute run time, we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg – and it probably looks a lot better in IMAX 3D. To make Avatar 2, Cameron had to literally figure out The Way of Water in order to do motion-capture with his actors holding their breath underwater while performing in a 900,000-gallon tank. James Cameron interviews are always interesting on some level, but after hearing the filmmaker talk about what’s gone into this sequel – and potentially the 2-6 Avatar sequels after this one – it’ll be fascinating to finally see for ourselves.

Foreign Despite being one of the most popular Things in human history a lot of people Seem pretty whatever about Avatar and Honestly that's understandable it's a 13 Year old movie about blue cats who do Weird ponytail stuff under a giant Glow-in-the-dark tree and to properly Enjoy it you had to either drive to a Theater and run a pair of funky goggles Or buy a whole new kind of TV which has Since become obsolete now well over a Decade since it was first teased we're Finally getting a follow-up to James Cameron's magnum opus of Magnum opuses And if you're not excited about it maybe I can convince you why you should at Least be curious about the way of water Even if you don't give a about Those big blue cats hear me out please [Music] We have a running joke here at IGN that I'm the only Avatar fan on staff it's Not entirely true but I'm definitely the Most vocal and really I think I'm more Of a fan of just James Cameron in General because here's the thing the guy Hasn't made a single bad movie and some Of his best ones happen to be sequels Get down [Music] For the sake of this argument I'm giving Him the benefit of the doubt and leaving Piranha to the spawning off his

Filmography Flying fish aside let's talk about Cameron's track record for sequels Because it's basically Flawless aliens Took Ridley Scott's haunted house in Space and turned it into an Action-packed roller coaster T2 took a similar approach injecting the Cyberpunk horror of the Terminator with Blockbuster spectacle a sense of humor And a surprising amount of heart and Most notably he flipped the script by Turning the terrifying antagonist from The first film into a hero I'll beat That Cameron's movies are all visually And technically impressive but he's Always put a strong emphasis on Storytelling I've heard plenty of people Right off the plot of Avatar as a Boilerplate retelling of Pocahontas but Considering how many technical moving Parts it had in universe and production Wise it kind of makes sense to rely on a Proven formula if you're already Inventing two types of camera systems in The entire ecosystem of an alien planet Maybe you don't need to also reinvent The wheel in the plot Department this is Your avatar now Jake The premise of Avatar might feel like FernGully by way of the Matrix but it Functions white save your Trope aside Jake Sully works as an analog for the Viewer he's the new guy who's woefully

Underprepared to be Zapped into the body Of a 10 foot tall alien and turn loose On a planet where rocks float and Everything else tries to kill him Avatar bombards the viewer with Exposition but it does so while Maintaining a forward momentum Jake is Late to the party so he gets Pandora pan Splained to him by human scientists and Navi locals alike and he periodically Relays key information to us the viewers By way of direct to camera video blogs Also bear in mind that when Avatar was Released the concept of vlogging was Only a few years old might be a little Ham-fisted but it's a nice alternative To a scrolling wall of introductory text I'll a Star Wars or Blade Runner I guess I better go the good news all of that World building and setup is out of the Way the way of water doesn't need to be An origin story for an entire planet so It can hit the ground running not unlike Aliens or Terminator 2. assuming that Cameron is still putting the story first And that he's got a good story to tell The world is his oyster and by world I Mean Pandora and by oyster I mean Probably some sort of psychedelic alien Mollusk that's based on an actual oyster That James Cameron once saw during one Of his many real-life submarine Adventures While I wouldn't put it past Hollywood

Executives with dollar signs in their Eyes to Green Light four Avatar sequels Without the faintest idea what they'll Be about I would be very surprised if Cameron hadn't had the general plot of The whole series roughed out for 20 Years possibly longer at the absolute Bare minimum very least there is one Creative lead spearheading the direction Of this franchise rather than oh I don't Know multiple directors playing tug of War with a Trilogy that they're making Up as they go along who would do such a Thing like that what are you doing the First avatar is a hodgepodge of concepts For multiple ideas for Sci-Fi movies That Cameron had been kicking around for Decades in fact Cameron has literally Proven this in a court of law that he'd Been thinking about Avatar for a long Time multiple parties accused him of Lifting ideas and he busted out concept Art going back to the 1970s and even Earlier a painting of a bioluminescent Jungle planet that he did in 11th grade Was latent concept art for what would Become Pandora the highest grossing Movie of all time is based on a Teenager's notebook doodles dream big Kids Cameron first pitch producer John Landau on Avatar before they'd even Begun shooting Titanic way back in 1995. At the time filmmaking technology wasn't Advanced enough to make Avatar happen so

Cameron waited a decade killing time by Exploring the bottom of the ocean as one Does something being in development for Ages can just as easily be a recipe for Disappointment as it can for Brilliance But Cameron seems more like the kind of Guy who likes to bide his time rather Than just spin his wheels and twiddle His thumbs As you have hopefully figured out by now The way of water involves a lot of stuff Happening underwater initially somebody Had the gall to tell Cameron to shoot The underwater scenes dry for wet which Is to say putting the actors on wires And baking the rest nope Cameron Constructed a 950 000 gallon water tank And got to work figuring out how to Mocap underwater which had never been Done prior to this film technical Hurdles aside that meant putting the Crew in scuba gear and snorkels while The actors had to suck it up literally And learn how to hold their breath long Enough to film their scenes Kate Winslet Who despite his best efforts Cameron had Failed to drown while filming Titanic Learned how to hold her breath for seven And a half minutes breaking Tom Cruise's Previous record for on-screen breath Holding my guess is that Cruz is Probably practicing to reclaim this Title as we speak possibly in the vacuum Of space because he's nuts but Winslet

Winslet didn't give a sh she wanted to Go chain Vapor way through seven Episodes of Mayor of East Town do you Have any idea how much she smokes in That show a whole bunch anyway enough Has been said about how much Revolution Our new Avatar did but the reality is That's kind of par for the course for Cameron he cut his teeth doing concept Art production design and special Effects for Roger Corman B movies like Galaxy of Terror and battle beyond the Stars and much to the frustration of Some of the people who've worked under Him he is very specific about what he Wants and sometimes that means trying Things that have never been done before There's no shortage of directors who Have ambitious Visions but it is a Rarity for them to take as Hands-On Approach as Cameron has with his films The bulk of the iconic machines and Creatures that he gets credit for are Actually based on his concept art the Terminator the Queen alien the power Loader all of these were sketched out in Detail by Cameron himself get away from Her you even Jack's iconic drawing Of Rose from Titanic was literally Sketched by Cameron and the shot had to Be flipped because Cameron's left-handed And Leo's not and that level of Involvement goes beyond the drawing Board the shot in T2 where the

Helicopter flies under the overpass Cameron was flying that helicopter Himself no I'm kidding but that stun is So ridiculously dangerous that the Camera crew refused to film it up close Us and instead Cameron just grabbed a Camera himself and shot it from the back Of a stunt car The abyss might not beat you over the Head with its visuals like some of Cameron's other movies but it was Running on all cylinders in the effects Department besides loads of ingenious Practical effects it pushed the Boundaries of what computer animation Could do at the time that big Wiggly Water thing well aside from the fact That it was possibly the most ambitious Use of CGI at the time was made possible In part using software that it would Eventually become Adobe Photoshop did James Cameron invent Adobe Photoshop no But it shows the degree to which he's Willing to approach filmmaking as an Experiment Tom Cruise might hang out the Side of a real airplane and Christopher Nolan might crash a real airplane into The side of a building but James Cameron Is the kind of guy who will design an Imaginary airplane and then figure out How to make it look apt and even control Like a real one James Cameron and Company figured out how to mocap Underwater and the Avatar sequel is the

First time you're going to see it in Action will a 950 000 gallon water tank Full of ping pong balls and special Cameras become an indispensable piece of Production technology I'm skeptical but I'm also really curious to see how the Results compare to something like Aquaman of a Little Mermaid and what Other movie Magic he had to perform in Order to make this sequel [Music] Avatar fatigue is a very real Possibility down the road but one thing You've got to give this franchise credit For is that it's an original Intellectual property introduced this Century Avatar is based on an original Idea and it's taken 13 years to manifest A sequel and that is an absolute anomaly In the current pop culture landscape When you look at the list of the top Grossing movies of all time they are all Familiar in some capacity aside from Being sequels usually at least third or Fourth installments most of them pull From some kind of pre-existing Source Material Harry Potter and Jurassic world Mined best-selling books from the 90s Star Wars stems from one 45 year old Movie mired in archetypal mono mythology The key players of the MCU were mostly Introduced at the height of the Cold War And a few date back to WW2 Mission Impossible is based on a show that

Premiered in 1966 and even the Fast and The Furious takes its name from a movie Made a decade before that in the Disney Stuff get out of here Frozen 2 is the Sequel to a movie based on a story Published in 1844 Beauty and the Beast Is a remake of a 90s movie that pulled From a fairy tale from the 1700s and Depending who you ask The Lion King is a Ripoff of a tazuka manga from the 1960s Or a Shakespeare play from the 1600s but Either way the second highest grossing Movie of 2019 is a remake of the highest Grossing movie of 1994. and Titanic While Titanic is a love story about the Most talked about boating accident in 1912. and I'm allowed to make that joke That Iceberg almost killed my Grandma so sure maybe Avatar is a mix of Something Old Something New Something Borrowed and something blue maybe it is Just Dances with Wolves with Smurfs or Pocahontas in space or Costco sized FernGully with less rapping lizards and More ponytail sex stuff but when it came Out it was in the grand scheme of things Something we had never seen before and James Cameron seems adamant the way of Water won't rest on its laurels The way of water could be aggressively Underwhelming but I for one am curious To see what the hell this guy has been Working on since 2009 maybe the reason To give a about another Avatar is

Less because it's an avatar Sequel and More because it's a James Cameron Sequel And we all know how the last one of Those turned out [Music]

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