Here are the only two Avatar: The Way of Water shots that don't use CGI

Avatar: The Way of Water
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Avatar: The Way of Water is a technical marvel – with the visual effects team being nominated for an Academy Award and already picking up a gong at this year’s BAFTAs. But you may not have realized just how indebted the Avatar sequel was to the VFX wizards working tirelessly to bring Pandora to life.

Speaking to Metro during the BAFTAs, senior visual effects supervisor Eric Saindon revealed there were only two shots in Avatar: The Way of Water that were untouched by CGI.

"There’s one of Spider’s eyeball and there’s one of the bottom of the ocean and just some ripples in the bottom of the water," Saindon says, adding that everything else was either "created" or "added to."

"There’s lots of live action, lots of characters with CG but every other scene, VFX shots were touched," he confirms.

The Way of Water, meanwhile, has made serious waves at the box office. It’s now the third highest-grossing movie of all time, behind Avengers: Endgame and the original Avatar.

Three more Avatar sequels are also planned for 2024, 2026, and 2028. Director Producer Jon Landau revealed back in October than the first act of Avatar 4 had almost completed filming. The third Avatar movie, currently untitled, will also introduce fire Na’vi to the franchise alongside a second culture.

We recently spoke to Cameron about Titanic’s 25th anniversary, including why he thought the film would be a career-ender.

"When I was in the last six months of finishing the film, I knew my career was over, I knew we weren't going to make a dime, I knew that we had put a gigantic dent in 20th Century Fox's treasury, and that I would never be forgiven for the rest of my life," Cameron told us. For more, click through to see our complete interview.

Discover what else is coming to cinemas this year with our movie release dates guide.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.