Back in 2009, when Avatar flew into theaters, no one expected the James Cameron flick to become the megahit it would go on to be. Now, thirteen years later, the cast is readying for the release of the film’s long-awaited sequel, Avatar: The Way of the Water. Before the sequel hits theaters in December, however, Avatar will return to theaters for two weeks to allow new fans to experience the film on the big screen in 4K High Dynamic Range.
To promote the upcoming re-release, Cameron gathered alongside the cast for a virtual press conference to discuss the franchise — both past and future. While the writer and director had plenty to say regarding how Avatar impacted blockbusters, the cast got a chance to talk about the films as a whole and why they enjoyed working on them.
According to actor Stephen Lang, he is just grateful to have been a part of such a talented group of people. “I think I’m proud to be just part of a team of such talented, creative, generous people,” he explained. “And I think over the years that we’ve been together and apart and together, we’ve been able to kinda maintain a collegial and a forward kind of feeling amongst us. And that kind of, you know, spirit. That kind of team spirit I guess is something that I feel so pleased and gratified to be part of. And I’m just proud to be on the team.”
While Michelle Rodriguez, who is also busy starring in the Fast & Furious franchise, it all comes down to the effort put into the storytelling. The actress feels that Cameron has put so much “mind and attention” into the storytelling, which she doesn’t feel is as valued by society these days. “I feel like Jim’s decision to tell this story is a decision also to show love and respect for life. And I feel like that’s rare,” she explained. “And I’m proudest of just being a part of that. Because I feel like it’s not done enough, you know? And for it to be as impactful as it was says a lot.”
Sigourney Weaver, who has a long history of working with Cameron, noted she loves the character she gets to play most of all. She notes that Cameron is a bit of a scientist himself, which helped him create the character of Dr. Augustine. “I guess I’m proud that I got to play Dr. Augustine who is a scientist. A woman scientist. And Jim had given the world, the audience, and certainly my character this whole universe of a new flora and fauna, taking it so seriously… And so I was so proud to be part of the science of this so that you’re not dumbing down something for the mass audience.”
Last but not least was Zoe Saldaña, who explained her excitement over belonging to a group she has much in common with and feeling as though she belongs. She also explained getting to work with Cameron has been a great experience because he’s “not an elitist,” but more of a “curious” person. “I got an opportunity to belong to a group of people that, you know, that I just, I feel I have so much in common with… You know, like jigsaw that you’re searching to belong,” she explained. “And you meet the ultimate curious person who’s Jim, and he extends, he shares, he’s curious. He’s not an elitist. And I just, you know, you get to be an artist. I was given an opportunity, and I honestly feel that I ran with it. And then to be able to come back to that opportunity, it feels like it’s the gift that continues to give.”
Avatar will be temporarily removed from Disney+ ahead of its re-release in theaters. The re-release will be for two weeks only beginning on Sept. 23rd and will see the film available in stunning 4K High Dynamic Range. Written and directed by Cameron, Avatar stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver. The film was produced by Cameron and Jon Landau. The long-awaited sequel, Avatar: The Way of the Water, will finally be released in theaters this December, just in time for the holidays.