In addition to months of freediving training, the cast of Avatar: The Way of Water spent a lot of time getting inside the minds of their characters in order to craft stronger, more authentic performances during production. But for returning stars Sam Worthington (Jake) and Zoe Saldaña (Neytiri), this couldn’t have been an easy task. Since the new film picks up over a decade after the first Avatar, the actors had to convey more than 10 years’ worth of ups and downs in their relationship onscreen. Luckily, in true workaholic fashion, James Cameron was willing to provide an Avatar 1.5 screenplay as a detailed roadmap for the heroes’ recent adventures.
At a press conference (via /Film), Worthington revealed that Cameron wrote a completely separate screenplay to help him and Saldaña understand what their characters have been up to since the original Avatar’s ending. This gave them a better idea of how Jake and Neytiri settled into their new roles as parents. It also granted insight into how they managed to evolve as both warriors and tribal leaders during that timeframe.
“Jim, I’m okay to say this, gave me a script that was Avatar 1.5, that, unto itself, is amazing and detailed and full of what they’ve kind of gone through over that gap,” shared Worthington. “I think it was part of Jim realizing that story was about them being warriors and taking on the battles over the clans and things like that […] You wanted to explore what this family dynamic is and the natural extension of this love story. It gave us a good jumping-off point to understand how to fill in that gap that’s missing.”
For now, it’s unclear if Cameron has any plans to release the contents of this script in the future. Regardless, there’s always a market for additional stories set in the Avatar universe. Dark Horse Comics is currently releasing its own trilogy of graphic novels dubbed Avatar: The High Ground, which lead into the events of The Way of Water. Plus, with Disney in control of the franchise now, the story could also unfold as an animated series on Disney+. But in the end, the studio probably won’t do anything like this without Cameron’s approval.
Avatar: The Way of Water will hit theaters on December 16.
Would you like to see Cameron’s story for Avatar 1.5? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: James Cameron’s Avatar: Tsu’tey’s Path
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