James Cameron has water on his mind.
Not really, just his love for 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 started in theaters in December, differs from the original.
“I think it’s very emotional,” Cameron said of the sequel. “I think it is more emotional than the first film. I think it focuses more on the character and relationship dynamics than the first film, but it definitely makes for spectacle.”
“Avatar” hits theaters again on Friday and Cameron said he is looking forward to it.
“There’s an entire generation that can just watch it streaming, or on Blu Ray, if people still do it, there was the exciting prospect of getting people back into the theatre,” Cameron said. “And now it’s more timely than ever because theaters have taken such a beating over the years.”
Of course, he is referring to the way theaters have struggled during the pandemic.
‘Avatar’ is the highest-grossing film of all time, grossing over $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 — once again.
“We’ve relied a lot on this idea of a franchise or a saga that goes on multiple films and making the film ourselves is very expensive. And so while we can make a lot of money, we can’t be profitable and you can’t do something like that. Don’t do what isn’t profitable for very long,” Cameron said.
The new film is inspired by the director’s fascination for marine life.
“I love the oceans,” he said. “I became passionate about the ocean even before I met an ocean. I learned to scuba dive in the Canadian countryside.”
The actors of “Avatar: The Way of Water” had to adapt to the underwater act and said that after training, Kate Winslet and Sigourney Weaver could hold their breath for six or seven minutes.
Seeing the fictional Na’avi again in a new story has been a thrill for Cameron, even as he celebrates the first film.
“‘Avatar’ was a unique animal in its time because it came out to create a world and then you live in that world,” he said. “We never supported the throttle the whole time.”