Avatar 2 Cast Lived in the Rainforest to Prepare for Sequel

Making a sequel to one of the highest-grossing movies in box office history is no easy task, but that's exactly what James Cameron has spent the last few years of his career doing. Avatar broke both ground and records when it was released in 2009, and Cameron is now making four sequels to the film and further exploring the world of Pandora. This time around, Cameron is taking extra steps to enhance the final product, including filming many sequences completely underwater and living in the jungle with his cast.

This week, Variety released an interview/conversation between Cameron and Dune director Denis Villeneuve. While talking about the process of making Avatar 2, Cameron revealed that he spent a few days in the rainforests of Kauai with his actors, as they observed how they moved and existed in that kind of environment.

"I took the actors on what I called a sense-memory odyssey," Cameron explained. "We went to Kauai. We lived in the rainforest for a few days. We cooked in underground fire pits. We drank water from the leaves. I said, 'All right, we're going to walk up a trail and I want you to observe as much as you can about how you place your feet, how you place your hands when you go up a steep section. You're going to have to remember it, what it felt like, what it smelled like, and you're going to have to bring it back into a relatively sterile environment.' We all just embarked on that journey."

Avatar 2 will explore a lot more of Pandora than the first film, showing off not just the lush forests of the planet, but also the communities out by the sea. We will see a lot of Pandora throughout the four Avatar sequels, in addition to bringing the story back to Earth.

"Well, it was a challenging decision because I either wanted to do it right, or just not even do it," Cameron said. "I just made this – I guess, strange – decision that everything that I needed to say artistically about the things that were important to me, I could say within the framework of the universe that I knew it could be. Just like Dune takes place across worlds, the later Avatars take place across...certainly across two worlds, because some of it takes place on Earth as the story evolves, and different biomes within."

Avatar 2 arrives in theaters on December 16, 2022.