James Cameron has water in the brain.
Not literally, just his love for the ocean.
That’s evident in his upcoming film, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” the sequel to his 2009 Oscar-winning hit.
Cameron spoke to CNN’s Jason Carroll about how the movie, which will debut in theaters in December, is different from the original.
“I think it’s very emotional,” Cameron said of the sequel. “I think it’s more moving than the first film. I think it focuses more on character and relationship dynamics than the first film, but it definitely delivers the show.
“Avatar” is re-released in theaters on Friday, and Cameron said he’s thrilled about it.
“There’s a whole generation that only got to see it on streaming, or on blue ray if people still do, so it was an exciting prospect to bring people back into theater,” Cameron said. “And now it’s more timely than ever because theaters have taken such a beating over the past two years.”
He is, of course, referring to how movie theaters have struggled during the pandemic.
“Avatar” is the highest-grossing film of all time, grossing over $2.8 billion at the box office. Entertainment industry watchers are watching closely to see if Cameron’s sequel can bring people back to Pandora — and to theaters — once again.
“We bet a lot on this idea of a franchise or a saga that takes place over several films and the film itself is very expensive to make. And so even though we make a lot of money, we may not be profitable and you don’t do something that’s not profitable for a very long time,” Cameron said.
The new film is inspired by the director’s fascination with marine life.
“I love the oceans,” he said. “I was passionate about the ocean even before I encountered an ocean. I learned to scuba dive in rural Canada.
The cast of ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ had to adapt to playing underwater and he said after practice stars Kate Winslet and Sigourney Weaver were able to hold their breath for up to six or seven minutes.
Revisiting the fictional Na’vi in a new story has been a pleasure for Cameron, even as he continues to celebrate the first film.
“‘Avatar’ was a unique beast in its time because it was about creating a world and then you live in that world,” he said. “We never backed off the throttle all the time.”