The sequels to James Cameron's 2009 epic Avatar aren't slated to be released until 2020 and 2021, but the director offered a bit of an update on their progress during the Fox presentation at CineEurope this week.
Standing in front of a large water tank, he noted that water "plays a huge part" in the new films, which will travel to "never before seen parts of Pandora."
Cameron also shared an update on two of the film's principal actors, revealing that Zoe Saldana wrapped her part last Friday and that Kate Winslet can hold her breath underwater for seven minutes.
The director added that early results on the movies "are beyond even our expectations."
Along with movies two and three, Cameron had previously revealed plans for a fourth and fifth movie, though he admitted in a 2017 interview with Vanity Fair that those films may not happen.
"Let's face it, if Avatar 2 and 3 don't make enough money, there's not going to be a 4 and 5," he said. "They're fully encapsulated stories in and of themselves."
The final two films in the saga have release dates of 2024 and 2025, should Cameron decide to go ahead with them.
The director then compared the Avatar films to another famous trilogy, saying, "It builds across the five films to a greater kind of meta-narrative, but they're fully formed films in their own right, unlike, say, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, where you really just had to sort of go, 'Oh, s—, all right, well I guess I better come back next year.' Even though that all worked and everybody did."
The interview also touched on Winslet's character in the films, revealing that her character is part of the Sea People, or "the reef people."
"She's very excited about it," Cameron said of Winslet. "She blazed through for a couple of days of rehearsals and saw the world that we had created, and how we do the work, and she's very excited."
The one thing she did do is demand that she do all her own water work," he added. "I said, 'All right, that's fine, we'll have to teach you how to free dive.'"
Avatar 2 is set for release on December 18, 2020.
Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox