Following recent news that Avatar 2 finally kicked off production, 20th Century Fox has revealed the batch of young actors that will portray the children of Sam Worthington's Jake and Zoe Saldana's Neytiri in a new photo (via Entertainment Weekly).
The Sully clan, in addition to the children from another Na’vi clan, called the Metkayina (also pictured below), will together play a "crucial role" in the follow-up.
Each actor will of course get a CG Na'vi makeover, with the exception of the character Javier “Spider” Socorro (played by Jack Champion, the kid on the right in the blue shirt), a human teenager, born at the Hell’s Gate military complex.
“We never had this youthful element before, and that brings a different kind of energy to the film,” producer Jon Landau said, teasing the sequel's youthful element. “They represent the future generation of Pandora and play a very significant role — not just in this movie but throughout all the movies.”
The producer also remarked on the likely success of the Avatar sequels, saying that the first film's record-breaking box office numbers weren't a one-time result of the (then-)novel 3D phenomenon. “Nobody is watching Avatar [on home video] or waiting in four-hour lines at Disney’s World of Avatar or going to the sold-out Cirque du Soleil shows because of the film’s 3-D,” he said. “People respond because of the movie’s characters, themes, and emotions—and we have all that again. When the cast read what Jim Cameron wrote [for the sequels], it hit them with even greater resonance than the first movie.”
Having started production on September 25, Avatar 2 -- and its three follow-ups -- have an estimated production budget of over $1 billion. The production start represents a longtime goal for Cameron, the films’ director, who has long insisted that more Avatar movies are on the way, but only once the scripts for the four films have been penned.
The Avatar franchise imagine a distant future in which Earth’s natural resources have been depleted. In the first film, a mining company from Earth sets off for a planet called Pandora -- inhabited by tall, blue creatures called Na’vi -- to mine a rare mineral dubbed unobtanium. Human miners pilot Na’vi-human hybrids to explore the world, and one of those pilots, Jake Sully, comes to find he likes the Na’vi way of life more than the human. Jake leads a rebellion against the miners, driving back their advances.
Debuting in theaters on December 18, 2020, the first of the Avatar sequels is only the beginning. The franchise has films planned for as far out as 2025.