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James Cameron says Stranger Things issue prompted Avatar filming decision


James Cameron has already filmed Avatar 3 and 4 scenes due to an issue he has with Stranger Things.

The director has been taking part in a string of interviews to promote the second film in the franchise, The Way of Water, revealing various stages of the exhaustive filming process for the sci-fi movies.

And it turns out that Stranger Things influenced his decision to shoot parts of the second and third films at once.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Cameron said that he has shot parts of the next two instalments in the Avatar franchise in one go, to avoid having the younger actors age out of their roles.

While performance-capture VFX can transform the actors into their blue alien-like characters, it cannot do much to prevent growth spurts.

Cameron wanted the films to remain as authentic as possible and referred to the Stranger Things casting as something he was aiming to avoid.

“I love Stranger Things, but you get the Stranger Things effect where they’re supposed to still be in high school, and they look like they’re 27,” Cameron said.

Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, who plays Tuk, was seven when she was cast in the role. Now, she is 13. Similarly, Spider actor, Jack Champion, was cast at age 12, and is currently 18.

Champion, in particular, was “growing like a weed” during filming.

“We shot with Jack when he was 14 and 15, almost up to 16,” Cameron explained. “So we were shooting him over an 18-month period.”

Avatar 3 and the start of Avatar 4 take place very close together. However, there will be “a big time jump” towards the second half of the fourth movie.

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Speaking of the actors, Cameron said: “They’re young men, young women at that point when we get to the B side of that time jump.”

Trinity Jo-Li Bliss and Jack Champion

(Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images f)

“I enjoy seeing them grow up as people, and I’m very proud of the young – I’ll even call them adults – that they’ve all become,” franchise producer Jon Landau said. “I think audiences will want to go on the journey with them.”

Landau also confirmed that fans can assume “that the majority of the cast is returning for the third film and the subsequent films”.

Sigourney Weaver, 73, who plays Kiri, the 14-year-old daughter of Jake and Neytiri, also spoke about her experiences with the young actors on set.

She spent her time with them having lessons in underwater sign language, parkour, free diving, breath holding, and knife fighting.

Weaver said: “I was determined to keep up with these kids, who have endless energy and flexibility. I’m really happy about that because we do have to be our own little mob. By that time, I felt like one of the little rag-tag kids.”



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