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Avatar 2 director James Cameron talks "crazy" underwater filming

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(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Avatar 2 director James Cameron has shared more details about his upcoming sci-fi sequel, which will mostly take place underwater as we further explore the fictional Na'vi planet of Pandora.

"It sounds kind of nuts, the process I mean," he told Entertainment Weekly. "If Avatar hadn't made so much damn money, we'd never do this – because it's kind of crazy. […] I do the ocean thing when I'm not making movies. So if I could combine my two greatest loves – one of which is ocean exploration; the other, feature filmmaking – why wouldn't I?"

The first Avatar movie came out back in 2009, so the sequel is long-awaited. The series stars Sam Worthington as Jake Sully, a former Marine turned Na'vi and Zoe Saldana as Na'vi princess Neytiri, alongside big names including Sigourney Weaver, Kate Winslet, and Edie Falco. 

Cameron added: "My colleagues within the production really lobbied heavily for us to do it 'dry for wet,' hanging people on wires [instead of filming underwater in a tank]. I said, 'It's not going to work. It's not going to look real.' I even let them run a test, where we captured dry for wet, and then we captured in water, a crude level of our in-water capture. And it wasn't even close."

Total Film recently revealed the first Avatar 2 plot details along with an exclusive image from the movie, teasing its underwater setting.

Avatar 2 is set to – finally – arrive on the big screen on December 16, 2022, with three more sequels set to follow after that. In the meantime, check out our list of the other upcoming movie release dates that we think should be on your radar.

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.