James Cameron has water on his mind.
Not literally, just his love of the ocean.
This is evident in his upcoming film “Avatar: The Way of Water,” the sequel to his Oscar-winning 2009 hit.
Cameron spoke to CNN’s Jason Carroll about how the film, which hits theaters in December, differs from the original.
“I think it’s very emotional,” Cameron said of the sequel. “I think it’s more emotional than the first film. I think it focuses more on the character and relationship dynamics than the first film, but it definitely delivers on the spectacle.
“Avatar” is being re-released in theaters on Friday, and Cameron said he’s excited for it.
“There’s a whole generation that can only see it on streaming, or on Blu-ray if people still do that, so it was an exciting prospect to bring people back to the theater,” Cameron said. “And it’s more timely now than ever because theaters have taken such a beating over the last couple of years.”
He is of course referring to the way movie theaters have struggled during the pandemic.
“Avatar” is the highest-grossing film of all time, grossing more than $2.8 billion at the box office. Entertainment industry observers are watching closely to see if Cameron’s sequel can draw people back to Pandora – and to theaters.
“We’ve done a lot on the idea of a franchise or a story that spans multiple films and it’s very expensive to make the film itself. And so while we might make a lot of money, we might not be profitable. Don’t be complacent and don’t do anything that won’t pay off in the long run,” Cameron said.
The new film is inspired by the director’s fascination with marine life.
“I love the oceans,” he said. “I’ve been passionate about the ocean since before I met the ocean. I learned to scuba dive in rural Canada.
The actors of “Avatar: The Way of Water” had to adapt to acting underwater and said that after the training, stars Kate Winslet and Sigourney Weaver were able to hold their breath for six or seven minutes.
It’s been a thrill for Cameron to revisit the legendary Na’vi in a new story, even as he celebrates the first film.
“‘Avatar’ was a unique beast in its time because it set out to create a world and then you live inside that world,” he said. “We didn’t back off the throttle the whole time.”