It has been announced that Kate Winslet will be joining the cast for James Cameron’s Avatar 2.
I should state that the title I just gave is only the working title, as the apparently 2020 film is still shrouded in a lot of mystery. All we really know about the film is that it will involve the fictional planet Pandora’s oceans heavily, as well as some of the cast members.
2009’s Avatar was a smash hit to say the least. The film was the biggest selling movie to date, grossing over one billion dollars worldwide and beating the previous highest grossing film, Titanic, by a long shot. The movie was visually stunning and helped to make 3D filmmaking the mainstay that it is today. Pandora was a mystical world chocked full of amazing creatures and geography, all of which exhilerated audiences worldwide.
The film was not perfect by any standard, however. The plot was very basic, with the humans being almost universally evil and the Na’vi were your standard noble savage archetype seen across all media for generations. Many compared the film’s plot to Dances with Wolves and Ferngully, not without reason.
However, these flaws may have been part of the movie’s mass appeal. The simplicity of the story meant it translated well and resonated with audiences world, possibly leading to its huge success. This, combined with James Cameron’s knack for making revolutionary special effects, led to it being the undeniable smash hit of its era.
The sequel was announced not long after the first film was released, and it has been a surprisingly long wait for it to come out. Could it be that the filmmakers are struggling to think of a way to make an equally successful sequel? Does it betray a possible apprehension to try and top the original?
Personally I think that it does not. James Cameron has proven himself one of Hollywood’s top directors when it comes to making a sequel to an already successful movie; Aliens and Terminator 2 are two of the best sequels ever made. Cameron understands that a good sequel needs to expand, but not take away from, the original and try to take a different enough tone that it is a very different entity.
Kate Winslet’s attachment to the new film is reassuring news. Cameron is a notoriously difficult director to work with, a famous example of this is Ed Harris punching him during the filming of The Abyss. The man is a perfectionist, and so it takes a dedicated cast member to consider working with him again. Kate Winslet is a brilliant actress, with a whole slew of amazing films to back this up. Her performance in Titanic is brilliant, where she manages to carry the overrated Leonardo Dicaprio the whole movie.
She is joining the returning cast members of Sam Worthington, a sadly very underused actor in Hollywood these days, Zoe Saldana, a woman who has made a career out of playing various sexy different coloured space aliens, Sigourney Weaver, another Cameron veteran, and Stephen Lang, a surprising addition since he was pretty damn dead at the end of Avatar. Overall, a pretty damn good cast for the sequel.
Avatar 2 is currently scheduled for release in 2020, so stay tuned for more news.