Ready to return to Pandora? Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington have officially signed on to reprise their roles as Neytiri and Jake Sully in James Cameron's trilogy of sequels to his 2009 smash Avatar, The Hollywood Reporter confirms.
Cameron himself spoke about the duo's return in a statement to THR on Tuesday, Jan. 14. "Jake Sully is a rare combination of passion, strength, street smarts, and soul, which requires a lot from an actor. Sam brought to the role a combination of sensitivity, vulnerability, and strength," he said of Aussie actor Worthington, 37.
Of Saldana, he added: "Zoe captured every aspect of the character I envisioned, bringing to Neytiri a mix of delicacy, fierceness, and incredible physicality. I am beyond pleased they'll be returning with us to Pandora."
The Titanic director plans to film the movies back-to-back beginning later this year, THR notes. The first sequel will hit theaters in December 2016.
Little is known about the plot of the trilogy, but Cameron teased a few details in an interview with the Associated Press in December. "At first I thought I was going to take it onto other worlds as well, in the same solar system, but it turned out not to be necessary," he shared. "I mean, the Pandora that we have imagined will be a fantasyland that is going to occupy people for decades to come, the way I see it."
"There's a fair bit of underwater stuff," he continued. "It's been inaccurately said that the second film takes place underwater. That's not true. There are underwater scenes and surface-water scenes having to do with indigenous ocean cultures that are distributed across the three films."
The Oscar winner also noted that while the original Avatar movie was "very Jake-centric," the coming sequels are "really the story of his family, the family that he creates on Pandora. His extended family. So think of it as a family saga like The Godfather."
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