Director James Cameron has revealed that Kate Winslet’s Avatar 2 character Ronal is one of the sequel’s underwater-dwelling sea people. Cameron and company are currently shooting the first two of four planned Avatar sequels, the hope being that after the first two are completed, Cameron will wrap up his epic saga by shooting the final two movies back-to-back.

Cameron’s ambitious Avatar sequel plans include introducing a whole new race of aliens who live under the seas of Pandora. In order to film these underwater sequences, Cameron and his team have had to re-invent the motion-capture technology they developed for the groundbreaking original Avatar. Cameron says the first two Avatar sequels will take place mainly in this underwater world.

Related: How James Cameron is Filming Avatar’s Underwater Sequences

20 years after she starred in Cameron’s blockbuster Titanic, Kate Winslet is jumping back into the water with the director, playing a character that Cameron described to Vanity Fair as being one of Avatar 2‘s “sea people” or “reef people.” Cameron previously explained that the sea people, a clan called the Metkayina, live on giant oceanic reefs and are ruled by a man named Tonowari (Cliff Curtis). We will have to wait to find out exactly how Winslet’s character fits into this exotic, undersea Pandorian world.

James Cameron Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic Kate Winslets Avatar Sequel Character is Part of the Sea People

After nearly drowning during the arduous Titanic shoot, one might think Winslet would be gun-shy about literally taking the plunge with Cameron again, but the director explains it’s exactly the opposite. Winslet in fact insisted that a double not be used for her underwater scenes, meaning the actress will have to undergo the same training as the other performers Cameron is employing to play the sea people. As Cameron explained:

“The one thing she did do is demand that she do all her own water work. I said, ‘All right, that’s fine, we’ll have to teach you how to free dive.’ The other actors are up to three- and four-minute breath holds. We’ve already been doing underwater capture. We did a scene last week with six teenagers, well, actually five teenagers and one 7-year-old underwater holding their breath for a couple minutes and acting, actually doing a dialogue scene under water because they speak kind of a sign language.”

Youth will be served in Cameron’s Avatar sequels, which largely revolve around the children of original movie characters Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), as well as the underwater-dwelling children referred to by Cameron above. Giovanni Ribisi, CCH Pounder, Stephen Lang, and Sigourney Weaver have all signed on for roles somewhere in the cycle of four films.

With a reported total budget of over $1 billion, Avatar 2 and its sequels are by far the most ambitious project ever undertaken by Cameron, a filmmaker whose entire career has been about raising the bar for himself in terms of technical difficulty. With all the challenges Cameron takes on comes a large measure of frustration, and the director is known as someone who will occasionally take out his frustration on cast and crew in a way that can get nasty. Kate Winslet has experienced the life-threatening madness of a Cameron set before and willingly come back for seconds, so it can’t be totally horrible.

MORE: The Avatar Sequels Are Worth Their Budget

Source: Vanity Fair

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