New Avatar 2 Featurettes Examine Spider, Underwater Acting

Avatar: The Way of Water has yet to dip below the top 10 at the domestic box office. But as of today, the sequel is officially available to purchase on digital platforms, bringing with it a host of special features that explore how James Cameron and his collaborators finally brought the story to life. And to mark the occasion, Disney has premiered two of these featurettes online, both of which can be viewed below.

The first featurette takes a closer look at how Jack Champion was cast as Spider, the biological son of Stephen Lang’s Miles Quatrich who was raised among the Na’vi after the events of the original Avatar. According to producer Jon Landau, finding the right young actor who could perform alongside seasoned pros like Lang and Sigourney Weaver was a “daunting” task, especially for casting director Margery Simkin, who noted that Champion wouldn’t start filming his scenes until “years” after his initial hiring. Because of this, the filmmakers needed to guess how Champion would grow by looking at how tall his parents and siblings were. We also get to see a few of Champion’s early screen tests that show him looking (and sounding) noticeably younger than he did in the film.

In the second featurette, the cast and filmmakers break down the tricky process of capturing actors’ performances underwater. Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Cliff Curtis, and Kate Winslet are among those who appear in wetsuits fitted with mo-cap technology as they shoot a number of the scenes that take place in the Metkayina’s region of Pandora. Winslet observes that filming these sequences demands a lot more than being able to hold your breath for long periods of time. The actors must also imagine things that aren’t there, including coral reefs and various forms of wildlife. But although this seems like overkill, Worthington notes that if they did it any other way, it wouldn’t be a James Cameron movie. 

Are you excited to dive into more Avatar 2 featurettes? Let us know in the comment section below!

Recommended Reading: Avatar: The Way of Water – The Visual Dictionary

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