‘Avatar: The Way of Water’: James Cameron Compares Sequels to ‘Lord of the Rings’

In a wave of new information for the highly anticipated sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, franchise director James Cameron has revealed details about the production process behind all the Avatar sequels, comparing them to The Lord of the Rings, according to an exclusive for Empire Magazine.

“What I said to the Fox regime at the time was, ‘I’ll do it, but we’ve got to play a larger game here. I don’t want to just do a movie and do a movie and do a movie. I want to tell a bigger story’,” Cameron told Empire Magazine. “I said, ‘Imagine a series of novels like The Lord of the Rings existed, and we’re adapting them.’ Now, that was great in theory, but then I had to go create the frickin’ novels from which to adapt it.”

Similar to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Cameron filmed the Avatar sequels back-to-back in a lengthy shoot that began in 2017. After the release of The Way of Water, the third Avatar film is expected to debut in December 2024 with the fourth and fifth film following every two years. The first Avatar was praised for its detailed world building, which Lord of the Rings is also similarly known for. With over a decade in the making, Cameron will expand the world of Avatar even more by showing the different cultures and ecosystems of Pandora in the upcoming sequels.

Alongside the production information given by Cameron, Empire Magazine also revealed a new image from the film which shows a young Na’vi, likely one of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri’s (Zoe Saldaña) children, sitting in the water with a giant whale-like creature. The image depicts the two sharing a connection with each other offering a glimpse of the life-like CGI that audiences will get to experience.

The image reveals a closer look of what was teased in the first trailer for the film which depicted the two swimming together underwater. While it remains unknown how large of a role their connection will have to the plot, it does echo an event in the first film when Jake bonded with the Great Leonopteryx, known to the Na’vi as Toruk. As speculation and anticipation continue to build, audiences will finally be able to explore the oceans of Pandora when the film releases in theaters later this year.

Directed by Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water will be released exclusively in theaters on December 16. The original Avatar will also be re-released in theaters on September 23.

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