James Cameron has water on the brain.
Not literally, just his love for the ocean.
It is evident in his next film, “Avatar: The Way of Water”, the sequel to the 2009 Oscar-winning blockbuster.
Cameron spoke with CNN’s Jason Carroll about how the film, which opens in theaters in December, is different 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 character and relationship dynamics than the first film, but it definitely puts on a show.’
“Avatar” opens in theaters on Friday, and Cameron said he was excited.
“There’s a whole generation that’s only been able to watch it on streaming, or blue ray if people still do that, so getting people back to the theater was exciting,” Cameron said. “And it’s time now more than ever because theaters have taken such a hit in the last couple of years.”
Of course, he’s talking about the way movie theaters have fought through the pandemic.
“Avatar” is the highest-grossing film of all time, having grossed more than $2.8 billion at the box office. Entertainment industry watchers are watching closely to see if Cameron’s sequel can draw people back to Pandora – and theaters – again.
“We have settled a lot on this idea of a franchise or saga that plays out in several films and making the film itself is very expensive. And so even if we make a lot of money, we might not be profitable and you don’t do something that isn’t profitable for a very long time,” said Cameron.
The new film is inspired by the director’s fascination with ocean life.
“I love the oceans,” he said. “I have been interested in the ocean before I met an ocean. I learned to dive in the Canadian countryside.’
The cast of “Avatar: The Way of Water” had to adapt to acting underwater and he said that after the training, stars Kate Winslet and Sigourney Weaver were able to hold their breath for up to six or seven minutes.
Revisiting the fictional Na’vi in a new story has been a thrill for Cameron, even as he continues to celebrate 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’ve never backed down the whole time.”