Avatar 2 Actor David Thewlis on Joining the Franchise as a Na'vi

Avatar 2 has been in the making for over a decade, and audiences have been curious to see how the massive blockbuster comes together. In addition to nearly all of the first film's ensemble cast, the sequel - as well as three other installments in the franchise - is expected to feature a wide array of actors, including Wonder Woman and Harry Potter star David Thewlis. In a recent interview with Total Film (via GamesRadar), Thewlis discussed what it's like to be part of the unique franchise, as the entirety of his performance as one of the members of the Na'vi was done via mo-cap.

"I’ve got no idea what my scenes will be like because there are about 16 guys in the room with video cameras but they’re just shooting reference shots for Jim [Cameron] to look at later," Thewlis explained. "What those guys are shooting will never be on the screen, what’s being shot is obviously on these sensors. There are about 200 around the room, doing their thing."

"I am a Na’vi, I’m a blue thing in it – which I didn’t quite understand when I went to meet [Cameron]," Thewlis continued. "I was quite surprised when I got offered that. I’m fascinated to see how I’m going to look, because they sort of make them look a bit like oneself. It’s fantastic!"

According to Thewlis, this bizarre approach to the film's production gave him a wildly different experience as an actor.

"For the first time, I felt like a total newcomer, like it was my first job," Thewlis revealed. "I was on set having been working for 35 years on film sets and I was like, 'So what do we do? What’s that doing here? Why is he doing that? Do we do it now?' I felt very naïve. And of course, I was, because none of the rules applied from everything I’ve learned."

Avatar 2 will see the return of Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Giovanni Ribisi, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, CCH Pounder, and Matt Gerald. New cast members include Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Oona Chaplin, Vin Diesel, and CJ Jones.

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Avatar 2 will be released in theaters on December 17, 2021. If all goes according to plan, Avatar 3 will be released on December 22, 2023, Avatar 4 will be released on December 19, 2025, and Avatar 5 will be released on December 17, 2027.

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