The next of James Cameron’s Avatar sequels are officially off and rolling, with visual effects production in full swing today at the Oscar-winning Weta Digital in New Zealand. Cameron changed the game for movies that heavily feature visual effects and performance capture, paving the way for films like Luc Besson’s Valerian and the new Planet of the Apes trilogy. Funny enough, Weta is getting an assist this time around from motion capture tech used in War for the Planet of the Apes.
James Cameron is the kind of director who likes to revolutionize the industry he works in whenever he makes a movie. Shot entirely in a new format of 3-D motion-capture, his Avatar wowed audiences with its visual style and groundbreaking effects, and Cameron is poised to do it again. He announced today that Avatar 2 will be projected in 3-D, but audiences won’t need their glasses.
It’s been nearly eight years since James Cameron’s Avatar took the global box office by storm, and while it’s become très chic for some corners of the internet to endlessly bash Avatar, I still maintain my stubborn affection for Cameron’s movie. Very few filmmakers can create action-driven science-fiction that operates at Cameron’s level; just look at how many times people have messed up Cameron’s Terminator franchise, a near-flawless formula for blockbuster movies that studios have nevertheless run directly into the ground. We may laugh at Cameron’s planned sequels, but they are both original (technically!) and creator-driven movies. Isn’t that what we claim to want from Hollywood?