Entertainment NewsHow Avatar Avoided the "'Stranger Things' Effect"

How Avatar Avoided the “‘Stranger Things’ Effect”


James Cameron wanted ‘Avatar’s teenage actors to remain youthful instead of aging like the ‘Stranger Things’ cast, aiming for high school students ‘that look like they’re 27′.

James Cameron recently revealed to Entertainment Weekly that one of the critical factors he took into consideration when deciding to simultaneously film “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Avatar 3” and some portions of “Avatar 4” is primarily due to his desire for his franchise not to succumb to what he called “the ‘Stranger Things’ effect.” This term refers specifically to when child actors rapidly age between sequels, resulting in them no longer appearing as children. In “The Way of Water,” we are introduced to several adolescent characters, including Tuk (Trinity Jo-Li Bliss) and Spider (Jack Champion). When cast for the movie, Trinity was seven years old while Jack was 12 – both have since grown into teenage actors.

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Because Champion was already “growing like a weed” when cast in the film, Cameron was conscious of the fact that he would have to take on the responsibility of filming a majority of the scenes for his “Avatar” sequels in one span. “Otherwise, you get — and I love ‘Stranger Things’ — but you get the ‘Stranger Things’ effect where they’re supposed to still be in high school [but] they look like they’re 27,” the director said. “You know, I love the show. It’s okay, and we’ll suspend disbelief. We like the characters, but, you know.”

“She does not see herself as the youngest,” Bliss opened up to Variety about her Na’vi child. “The family might be protective of her, but she sees that as an underestimation. She doesn’t underestimate herself. She’s got a huge heart and is so curious. She’ll do anything to protect her family and Pandora. Seeing Tuk on the screen in her final form was incredible… I have so much love in my heart whenever I look at my little Tuk.”

Cameron took a bold approach when he shot not one but two “Avatar” sequels simultaneously. But that’s not all; Cameron also made sure to finish writing the scripts for his four-part franchise – “Avatar 2,” “Avatar 3,” “Avatar 4,” and “Avatar 5” – before filming. His ambition was reminiscent of Peter Jackson’s strategy while making the immensely popular trilogy, ‘The Lord of The Rings.’

“They took that chance to launch on all three of those films,” Cameron said. “But he had the books mapped out, so he could always show the actors what they needed to know about their character arc. So I felt I had to do the same thing. I had to play this as if the books already existed. So the only way for us to do that was to write all the scripts and let the actors read all the scripts and see where their characters were going and what it all meant. Not that that’s actable in the moment, but I think it’s something that the actors could work into their preparation for their characters.”

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience “Avatar: The Way of Water” while it is in theaters! Disney will release this third installment of this renowned franchise on December 20, 2024. So make sure you check it out before then and immerse yourself in its enthralling world.

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Megan Dianehttps://www.projectcasting.com
Hi, I'm Megan Browne, the Head of Partnerships at Project Casting - a job board for the entertainment industry. As Head of Partnerships, I help businesses find the best talent for their influencer campaigns, photo shoots, and film productions. Creating these partnerships has enabled me to help businesses scale and reach their true potential. I'm excited to continue driving growth by connecting people with projects they're passionate about.

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