In a recent episode of our Screen Rant Underground podcast, the editorial team discussed James Cameron's push forward with Avatar 2, and whether the sequel to the highest-grossing film of all time ($2.7 billion worldwide) could ever hope to match the success of the original. While tackling those questions head-on, the point was raised that it will be Cameron's success (or failure) with revolutionizing 3D CGI water effects, which will likely make-or-break Avatar 2's status as another milestone in the filmmaker's titanic career (sorry for that...).
Well, today brings a report which further shows that Cameron himself is aware of that challenge, and he is definitely planning to rise to meet it. Read on to find out what game-changing wonders James Cameron might next have for the world, come Avatar 2.
THR has a report nabbed from the... NAB Technology Summit, where Cameron's producer partner Jon Landau (Titanic, Avatar) delivered some choice quotes about what is being planned and executed for Avatar 2. Below is the quick version of what Landau said:
- A team of digital artists from the first film is working to create underwater performance capture - i.e., actors being filmed in mo-cap while underwater.
- This will allow them to get actual actor experience moving in a liquid medium - so that the CGI characters better fit an underwater backdrop.
- Naturally, there are many challenges to this process.
- They are toying with the idea of following The Hobbit and filming in High Frame Rate, but haven't decided yet.
- They are all about shooting in 3D, not converting.
Regardless of the endless back-and-forth about Avatar's story (or lack thereof) - which you can also hear us discuss on the podcast - it is undeniable that the film's technological achievements and impact on cinematic culture were revolutionary (or rather, "evolutionary," as Landau would say). The second film is going to be met with that technological expectation - and demand for a better story, to boot. That is a massive thing to deliver on - even for power-players like Cameron and Landau.
...But being able to film actors in a big fish tank - and then, convert that imagery into the most realistic simulated underwater experience ever? With some of the best visuals film technology can produce? Yeah, that would probably sell the necessary tickets.
Personally speaking, I hope they pull this off successfully - if only for the sake of the Blu-ray special features. Watching Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana splashing around a tank for all hours of a day - trying not to drown while "Capt. Cameron" screams direction at them - would be pretty entertaining. Silver Lining: with the new tech, we could also get some pretty sick underwater creature-feature horror flicks down the line - or that Aquaman and/or Namor movie... The door would be wide open for so many fun things.
No official release dates for Avatar 2 & 3 have been announced yet.