James Cameron has revealed Avatar 2 will be filmed predominantly underwater.
The sequel, which is due for release in 2020, features a new motion capture system which is proving to be a headache for the Terminator and Titanic film director.
“It’s never been done before and it’s very tricky because our motion capture system, like most motion capture systems, is what they call optical base, meaning that it uses markers that are photographed with hundreds of cameras,” he told Collider.
“The problem with water is not the underwater part, but the interface between the air and the water, which forms a moving mirror. That moving mirror reflects all the dots and markers, and it creates a bunch of false markers.
He added: “We’ve thrown a lot of horsepower, innovation, imagination and new technology at the problem…it’s taken us about a year and a half now to work out how we’re going to do it.”
It’s only this month that all the hard work has paid off, with Cameron revealing filming was completed successfully for the first time last Tuesday (November 14).
He added: “We actually played an entire scene underwater with our young cast. We’ve got six teenagers and one 7-year-old, and they’re all playing a scene underwater. We’ve been training them for six months now, with how to hold their breath, and they’re all up in the two-to-four-minute range.
“They’re all perfectly capable of acting underwater, very calmly while holding their breath. We’re not doing any of this on scuba. And we’re getting really good data, beautiful character motion and great facial performance capture. We’ve basically cracked the code.”
Meanwhile, Kate Winslet recently revealed that she has joined the franchise for the forthcoming sequels reuniting the actress with Cameron for the first time since 1997’s Titanic.
This year marks eight years since the first Avatar movie hit cinemas, which means Avatar 2 will arrive a full eleven years after the first installment.
However, the director isn’t worried about the delay between movies, comparing it to the success of follow-up films such as Terminator 2 and Aliens.