Children characters will play a crucial role in the Avatar sequels, especially the kids of Jake and Neytiri.
This was revealed on Wednesday in a new article from Entertainment Weekly, which includes a photo of seven child actors who have been cast in the Avatar sequels. This article reveals that the children of Jake and Neytiri, the lead characters in the first Avatar, will be crucial in the sequels, though it doesn’t reveal which two kids will be playing those children.
In general, kids will also be an important part of the story going forward, according to one of the film’s producers.
“We never had this youthful element before, and that brings a different kind of energy to the film,” Jon Landau told Entertainment Weekly. “They represent the future generation of Pandora and play a very significant role — not just in this movie but throughout all the movies.”
— James Hibberd (@JamesHibberd) September 27, 2017
All of the kids will be Na’vi with the exception of one: a character named Javier “Spider” Socorro, a human teenager born at a military complex that is described as a crucial location in the movie. The rest of the main children will either be Jake and Neytiri’s kids or children from another Na’vi clan called the Metkayina, who live on giant oceanic atoll reefs.
This is the first we’re hearing that kids will play such a major role in the new Avatar movies, although James Cameron previously suggested that Jake and Neytiri would have kids in the sequel.
“The storyline in the sequels really follows Jake and Neytiri and their children,” Cameron told Variety last year. “It’s more of a family saga about the struggle with the humans.”
Jake and Neytiri do not have children in the first Avatar, although they wind up together and have a love scene. At the end of the movie, Jake permanently transfers his consciousness into his Na’vi avatar, and so presumably the couple’s children will be 100% Na’vi rather than being half Na’vi half human.
After years of delays, Avatar 2 finally began shooting this past week. There are four Avatar sequels on the way, and James Cameron plans to shoot them all back to back, with the movies being released from 2020 through 2025. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cameron said that the scripts for all four movies are completely finished, and he is confident that the first sequel will hit theaters in 2020 rather than being delayed yet again.
This is a monumental enterprise that James Cameron is embarking on, as we previously reported that the Avatar sequels will collectively cost over $1 billion. That’s the most expensive movie production of all time, although that’s mostly because nobody has ever attempted to shoot four movies back-to-back. The closest comparison would be the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which was shot back-to-back with a total budget of $280 million, the equivalent of $403 million in today’s dollars. Whether James Cameron can top the box office gross of the first Avatar remains to be seen, but that will certainly be a challenge considering Avatar remains the highest-grossing film of all time with a total worldwide gross of $2.7 billion.