In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Cameron said filming scenes with both humans and Na’vi was “hideously difficult,” referencing Jack Champion’s character Spider, who spends the majority of the film tagging along with the natives of Pandora. In order to shoot Spider’s scenes, Champion had to do his entire performance twice, once as a reference for his co-stars, including Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña and Sigourney Weaver, and another to actually film the actor in live-action.
“The beauty was, we got to do it twice,” Cameron said of Champion’s performance. “So [cinematographer] Russ [Carpenter] would light the scene, so everything that we did with Jack photographically, we did previously with him in terms of capture.”
Cameron explained, “Jack did his entire performance twice, once for all the other actors like Sigourney and Britain [Dalton] and Sam, so that he was there kind of off camera. And he was like 13 at the time. And then later when we shot, he was 15, so he changed in size and vocal range a bit, but we capped him and then we had these capture scenes.”
After making a pivotal decision at the end of “Way of Water,” Champion will star in the third installment of the “Avatar” franchise, as well, set to premiere in December 2024. Cameron has already teased what’s to come in “Avatar 3,” revealing that the next film will explore “different cultures from those I have already shown. The fire will be represented by the ‘Ash People.’ I want to show the Na’vi from another angle because, so far, I have only shown their good sides.”
“Avatar: The Way of Water” is now playing in theaters nationwide.