Sam Worthington returns to the screens next month in the blockbuster franchise that has already made the humble Aussie actor the star of the highest-grossing film of all time.
Avatar: the way of the water is the highly anticipated sequel to the first film, 13 years after James Cameron’s fantasy sci-fi epic took in nearly $3 billion ($4.4 billion) at the global box office.
avatar3 will follow in December 2024, and if all goes well, the fourth and fifth installments in the franchise will be released in December 2026 and December 2028 respectively.
Worthington, 46, told news.com.au that all those years ago, he really had no idea that the movie he signed up for could dominate years—actually decades—of his life.
“A sequel was never really discussed. I think it was many years later, after Jim (director James Cameron) had started freediving, that I was called. The way he talked about it made me think, ‘Okay, I think he’s going to work that into something,'” he said.
“But it took a few years and a few phone calls with Jim to find out that he wanted to move forward with this story.”
The way of the water sees Worthington reprise his role as former US Marine Jake Sully – but this time Sully is fully immersed in the life of Na’vi, having left behind his human body to follow his love for Neytiri (Zoe Saldana).
Packed with action and full of epic spectacle, the film also focuses on the plight of other inhabitants of the planet Pandora, the Metkayina reef clan. While the Na’vi live in the forest, the Metkayina roam the seas, diving into the deep end and interacting with all sorts of bizarre creatures.
It meant Cameron’s cast faced a “daunting” task: learning freediving so he could properly film them in water tanks using the film shooting methods.
New cast member Cliff Curtis, who plays rifle leader Tonowari, told news.com.au that he loved the experience. Worthington, on the other hand, was less glowing.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” he told us.
“It’s disheartening when someone says what we’re going to try to achieve. It was many months of learning with the world’s best how to do this: how to slow your heart rate, how to get more oxygen into your bloodstream, how to get the mechanics of it,” he said.
“The hardest thing is to get rid of that. There is a very emotional scene between me and the son, but we are 30 feet underwater and running out of oxygen. You have to forget that you are deep down, that you are exhausting all your oxygen, and just play this emotional scene between a father and a son.
‘That is The hardest.”
Avatar 2: The Way of Water opens in Australian cinemas on December 15.