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James Cameron says he’s already filmed Avatar 3 and 4 to avoid the ‘Stranger Things’ effect

Callum Jones

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James Cameron says he’s already filmed Avatar 3 and 4 to avoid the ‘Stranger Things’ effect

Featured Image Credit: Netflix/20TH CENTURY STUDIOS

Avatar: The Way of Water has only been out in cinemas for just over a week, but director James Cameron says he has already filmed the third and fourth film in the franchise.

The original Avatar film came out in 2009, and we had to wait 13 years to get the sequel in The Way of Water.

But the wait for the next films will not be as long, with Cameron and co hoping to release the third Avatar in 2024, fourth in 2026, and a fifth in 2028.

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While the third and fourth film may still be a few years away, Cameron has admitted that he has already filmed scenes to avoid the 'Stranger Things' effect.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly promoting The Way of Water, Cameron said he decided on filming the films simultaneously so that the younger actors do not age out of their role.

Scenes for the third and fourth Avatar film have already been filmed. Credit: 20th Century Studios/ FlixPix / Alamy Stock Photo
Scenes for the third and fourth Avatar film have already been filmed. Credit: 20th Century Studios/ FlixPix / Alamy Stock Photo
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Performance-capture VFX can transform actors into the unique blue alien-like characters in Avatar, but cannot prevent growth spurts.

So to make the films as authentic as possible, Cameron decided on filming the third and fourth film while also working on the sequel to the 2009 classic.

He said: "I love Stranger Things, but you get the Stranger Things effect where they're supposed to still be in high school, and they look like they're 27.

Stranger Things stars Maya Hawke, Joe Keery and Gaten Matarazzo (Credit: Lifestyle pictures / Alamy Stock Photo)
Stranger Things stars Maya Hawke, Joe Keery and Gaten Matarazzo (Credit: Lifestyle pictures / Alamy Stock Photo)
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Actor John Champion is one of a few young actors in The Way of Water, who was only 12 when he got the role - he is now 18.

Cameron recalls Champion 'growing like a weed' during filming, he added: "We shot with Jack when he was 14 and 15, almost up to 16. So we were shooting him over an 18-month period."

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At one stage, Cameron thought his plans for the second film would go completely out the window due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Restrictions meant that production had to be shut down, right in the middle of Champion's window before he would apparently have that growth spurt and look noticeably different.

James Cameron worried about The Way of Water when the Covid-19 pandemic started. Credit: Stills Press / Alamy Stock Photo
James Cameron worried about The Way of Water when the Covid-19 pandemic started. Credit: Stills Press / Alamy Stock Photo

Cameron said: "I was imagining scenarios where we don't go back to work for a year and a half, and we're completely screwed because he's aged out, and then we have to go back and reshoot with another guy.

"It was like, 'Just hand me the shotgun.' But fortunately, it didn't work out that way.

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"We were able to appeal to the New Zealand government to let in a small group of our key [actors] so that we could bring the production back."

Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, Stranger Things, James Cameron

Callum Jones
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