James Cameron has gone on record saying the long-awaited “Avatar 2” will explore the underwater world of Pandora, but moviegoers have yet to see any images or footage revealing exactly what this world will look like on the big screen. In a recent interview with Yahoo promoting “Alita: Battle Angel,” Cameron said his approach to underwater scenes is to nail the realism when it comes to the physicality of being underwater, which means “Avatar 2” will be nothing like James Wan’s “Aquaman.”
When asked about his reaction to “Aquaman,” Cameron called the movie “great fun” but stressed how different Wan’s approach to filming underwater scenes was from his own on the “Avatar” sequels. “Truthfully. I could have never made that film because it requires this total dreamlike disconnect from any sense of physics or reality,” Cameron noted. “It exists somewhere between a Greek mythic landscape and a fairy tale landscape.”
“People just kind of zoom around underwater because… they propel themselves mentally? I guess? I don’t know. But it’s cool. You buy it on its own terms,” Cameron continued, “But I’ve spent thousands of hours underwater. I’m very literal about my underwater. It needs to look like it’s real. And while I can enjoy that film I don’t resonate with it because it doesn’t look real.”
Cameron is planning to make the underwater world of “Avatar” as real as possible. The filmmaker pioneered a groundbreaking new technology that allowed him to film motion-capture performances underwater. “Aquaman,” meanwhile, shot a majority of its underwater scenes on a sound stage and ocean effects were added in the editing room via CGI special effects.
The first two “Avatar” sequels were filmed back to back. “Avatar 2” is set for release December 18, 2020 from 20th Century Fox.