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Avatar 2 makes the Sully family “fish out of water”, says producer

Jon Landau, producer on the Avatar movies, has given some plot details for James Cameron's sequel

James Cameron's Avatar

A producer on Avatar 2 has provided some plot details for James Cameron’s blockbuster science fiction movie sequel. Jon Landau, producer on the action movies, explains that the five instalments will form an “epic saga”, and this followup will be about making Jake Sully a “fish out of water”.

Speaking to Total Film, Landau spoke on the writing process, and gave a sliver of information on what the driving narrative behind Avatar 2 will be. When mining resumes on Pandora, Jake is forced to move his new family, but finds getting somewhere safe to be a little difficult. “And when you get to the reef, there’s a clan we call the Metkayina,” Landau explains. “The Sullys are no longer in the environment that they know, the rainforest. They become the fish out of water. They become the fish out of water both culturally and just environmentally.”

Mention of a reef lines up with the behind-the-scenes bits we’ve seen for the thriller movie. Cameron, never fully content with conventional filmmaking, has been doing underwater mo-cap with the actors. He famously made parts of The Abyss completely submerged, and now he’s taking it all to another level.

Landau goes on to talk up how Cameron attracts such massive audiences with his work. “He writes in universal themes that are bigger than any one genre,” Landau says. “And if you think about this, there’s really no more universal theme than family. At the center of each of our sequels is the Sully family. What are the dynamics that parents go through to protect their family?”

It’s now been 12 years since Avatar first opened in cinemas and became the highest-grossing movie in the world. For some filmmakers, that might be cause for concern, but that’s the same gap between Titanic and Avatar, and if there’s one director you should never bet against, it’s James Cameron.

Cameron co-wrote Avatar 2 with Josh Friedman. Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh are among the names in the stacked cast.

Avatar 2 is due in theatres on December 16, 2022.