‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ in theaters on December 14th: the producer speaks

“Are you ready to go back to Pandora? There is no better world to escape,” says Jon Landau of the sequel, which took over 10 years of work.

(Adnkronos / Cinematografo.it) – “Are you ready to return to Pandora? There is no more beautiful world to escape to ”. To ask is the producer Jon Landauin remote connection for the press conference to present the first exclusive images of ‘Avatar: The Way of Water ‘.

It took more than ten years (Avatar was released in 2009), but now there are only a few months left until the sequel to the blockbuster film is released. The date is certain: December 14 (distributed by The Walt Disney Company Italia). And the team is the same because you don’t change a winning team. So Jon Landau, producer of ‘Titanic’ (which earned him the Oscar) and ‘Avatar’, returns to collaborate with James Cameron, directing both and also this sequel that focuses on the environmental theme.

“We focused a lot on the oceans and creatures that live in the water and used science fiction as a metaphor to understand our influence on the environment,” explains Landau-. We tried to make a very green production and we didn’t use plastic on the set. You can’t preach good and scratch badly because our actions impact the world. I hope that viewers when they see our film will come out of the cinema looking at things differently and thinking that there is a connection around us ”.

“There is nothing more universal than the family: I don’t mean the biological one, but the one in the sense of community,” continues Landau. The factual film tells the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri and their children), forced to leave their home, of the danger that follows them, of where they are willing to go to keep each other safe, of the battles they fight. to stay alive and the tragedies they face. “Teenagers struggling to discover their identity, giant aquatic animals to which we tried to empathize and then many characters and different environments, such as the oceans and the rainforest, compared to the first film. We started by always giving importance to emotions because the plot is what you find in the cinema, while the theme is what you take home, ”he explains.

A troubled production (the film is produced by 20th Century Studios), but compared to the first no problem with the Studios “on what to keep or what to remove”. “It was a great challenge to do two sequels at the same time,” he says. The scripts took a long time. And then certain scenes were difficult to make, like the actors’ underwater performance in a tank of two million liters of water and several computer graphics scenes in a real world ”.

In the cast also Sigourney Weaver, in the first was Dr. Grace Augustine, an exobiologist at the head of the Avatar program on the planet Pandora and here she plays the role of a whole new character: “A Na’vi named Kiri, who would be the adopted daughter by Jake Sully-Sam Worthington and Neytiri- Zoe Saldaña. She plays the part of a fourteen-year-old girl, a role that has allowed her to be playful ”.

In the film also a new composer of the music: Simon Franglen. “No one will ever take the place of James Horner, who directed the soundtrack of the first Avatar and who sadly is gone. But Simon Franglen was part of his team and channeled his philosophy by combining indigenous and primitive sounds with those of the orchestra. He did a considerable job ”.

On the use of 3D he says: “For us it is a window on the world and improves our vision. It does not make a bad film beautiful, but it accentuates what it already is: if it is beautiful it will make it even more beautiful, vice versa if it is ugly even more ugly. I hope Avatar will make other directors want to make 3D movies as well. ”

And on post-pandemic films: “The pandemic is still with us. But if you make good movies like Spider-Man, people will go to the cinema anyway. Nothing can replace the experience of a live concert and the same thing goes for the hall: it is an experience that people will continue to look for in the coming years ”.

In short, Landau is optimistic, like James Cameron, who “is willing to make mistakes, but who pushes the boundaries further and further”. In fact, there are three more sequels in the pipeline (the third installment of the franchise will hit theaters in December 2023, and, once post-production is over, James Cameron will get to work on chapters 4 and 5).

“Each film is independent from the others and will have its own point of view. It will be a much broader epic saga, ”he concludes.