Avatar: The Way of Water is in all respects an unexpected return: although director James Cameron was known to be producing several Avatar films, many fans probably didn’t believe in the return to Pandora following more than ten years of radio silence. Starting on December 14, the time has finally come: you can then marvel at the Na’vi again on the big screen.
Caution spoilers: This article talks about an upcoming event from the first Avatar movie.
However, the film itself is not the only return in terms of the Avatar universe: many of the cast members from the first part are back, among them, surprisingly, acting legend Sigourney Weaver. Weaver, who became famous in the Alien films, returns in Avatar: The Way of Water, but in a totally new role.
A legend of the screen returns: Sigourney Weaver will play a teenager in Avatar 2
For those who have seen the first part and still have a good memory of it, it should be clear to them why this news actually seems absurd. For everybody else, here’s a little refresher for the movie memory: Sigourney Weaver plays Dr. Grace Augustine in the first Avatar, who however dies on screen in the course of the movie and thus naturally can’t appear in the second movie.
But she doesn’t have to, since Weaver eventually slips into a new role, that of Na’vi teenager Kiri. As Jake and Neytiri’s adopted daughter, Weaver is no longer in action as a human scientist, but is given a blue skin as well. The film magazine Empire, which revealed this info exclusively, also published first images of the new character in the film.
Kiri can be seen there watching video footage of Dr. Grace Augustine and appears to have a connection to the deceased scientist. Another clue is that Kiri has five fingers instead of the usual four for the Na’vi and therefore could be a hybrid between human and alien, just like Jake.
Weaver and Cameron on the special acting challenge
Actress Weaver and director Cameron have also given a short interview on the occasion of this revelation and discussed Empire thought processes and challenges lying behind the role change. Cameron went on to say, “It’s a big acting challenge. We have a 60-something-year-old actress playing a character that’s [decades younger than] her actual biological age. Sig[ourney] had a lot of fun doing it.”
“Sigourney just got younger. She looked younger, she had more energy, and she never really left the character of Kiri throughout the entire shoot. She had a glow in her face and a lightness in her steps and was up for jokes.” Weaver, who is not only over 60 but actually 72, could relate well to Kiri despite the age difference:
“I think we all remember well how we felt growing up. I certainly do. I was 5’7″ or 5’8″ when I was 11. I felt quite strongly that Kiri would often feel uncomfortable and out of place. She’s searching for her identity. I was very happy to get this challenge from Jim.”
So Jake Sully’s (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri’s (Zoe Saldana) already fairly large family of three Na’vi and one adopted human child will be joined by yet another offspring. We will find out the exact role of Kiri in the film on December 14, as Avatar: The Way of Water hits theaters.
Judging by the box-office results of the first film and the number of hits on the trailer for the sequel, the second excursion to Pandora is likely to be another resounding success.