Can Chinese Na’vi Appear in the Avatar Sequels?

James Cameron is in pre-production on “The Avatar” sequels that are expected to start shooting in 2013 and has talked to The Hollywood Reporter about how the project might become a Chinese co-production.

“Within five years, China could easily be as big a gross-revenue market for film as North America, and there are very specific economic incentives for having both Chinese content and Chinese co-production. We are already funded on Avatar 2 and 3, but if we qualify as a co-production, there might be some incentives in the percentage of revenue we can take out of China. We are running the numbers to see if that makes sense,” he said.

Cameron added: “For Avatar, we can certainly use Chinese actors as performance capture actors because any accent issues will hide within the Na’vi accent. So we can have Chinese Na’vi; [and in the live-action sequences] we can also have Chinese actors who speak English in the film. We are projecting a future in Avatar, and if you project that future out, it is logical that there would be a number of Chinese amongst the contingent on Pandora.”

The trade said that the filmmaker will still shoot the performance capture for Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 in Los Angeles and the live-action photography in Wellington, New Zealand. The visual effects work will take place at the Wellington-based Weta Digital.