Kiwi stars talk humanity and nature in Avatar sequel

December 5, 2022

Avatar's long-awaited sequel is about humanity's "place in nature" and the resilience of indigenous people, star Cliff Curtis says.

Avatar: The Way of Water, set 10 years after the events of the first Avatar film, sees Jake Sully, Neytiri and their family fight an ancient threat to stay together, eventually seeking refuge with the Metkayina reef people clan.

Director James Cameron has four Avatar films on the way, with Kiwi actors featured across the franchise.

Among the Kiwi stars are Cliff Curtis, who plays the chief of the reef people clan, Tonowari, and Duane Evans Jr, who plays hunter and free-diver Rotxo.

Curtis said seeing footage of the film for the first time was "so overwhelming".

"The brain is just trying to take it all in because there's so much going on – so amazing. It looks so real, it feels so real and it's so magical."

"You don't even know what to say," Evans Jr added.

The film is the first of its kind to use underwater motion capture to create the ground-breaking effects, which meant the actors had to learn breath-hold diving.

The film's producer, Jon Landau, said the film is about the resilience of indigenous people, and was inspired by cultures from around the world.

"We have a responsibility as storytellers to open people's eyes and let them celebrate the diversity that exists on Earth and, hopefully, inspire them to collectively find ways of protecting those cultures from disappearing," he said.

Curtis added that it's about "remembering that we're a part of nature, that we are not just here to exploit nature".

"I think that's a big part of the story that we're telling."

To find out more about Curtis and Evans Jr's experience working on th film, click on the video above.