New 'Avatar 2' Image Shows Off The Underwater Motion-Capture Process

The first Avatar pushed the limits of 3D, and the second will seek to do the same with motion-capture technology. Avatar 2 is set to hit theaters more than a decade after James Cameron's record-setting blockbuster, a delay that is partially due to the cutting-edge motion-capture technology that Cameron developed to depict a new underwater world. Now, a new behind-the-scenes Avatar 2 image has been released showing the cast of the sci-fi action film using that very technology.

Avatar 2 Image

The official Avatar Twitter released a behind-the-scenes image of stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Kate Winslet, and Cliff Curtis taking a break from the new motion-capture underwater system developed for Avatar 2. While we've heard and read all about how this is cutting-edge technology that has only been perfected recently, the image naturally doesn't look all that impressive — mostly because the stars are wearing goofy-looking helmets while floating in a tank filled with tiny plastic balls. The floaties and standard motion-capture dots on the stars' faces also don't help make them look any cooler. But the end result will likely look as fantastic as the 2009 film that captured the imaginations of audiences worldwide to the tune of $2.7 billion.

"Fun fact: Much of the performance capture took place in this 900,000 gallon tank, built specifically for the sequels," the Avatar Twitter revealed, teasing more of the scope of the massive sets that Cameron built for the film in New Zealand.

Production on the four Avatar sequels, which were shooting back-to-back in New Zealand, was put on pause in March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but Cameron and crew have continued chugging on remotely, with the New Zealand-based WETA Digital continuing to work on the movies' visual effects. The slow re-opening of overseas productions have given Cameron confidence that Avatar 2 can still make its December 2021 release date, and the recent release of a string of behind-the-scenes images of the set supports that.

The Avatar sequels are bringing back the original movie's cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, and Matt Gerald. But there are several new cast members in the mix as well, including Kate Winslet, Edie Falco, Michelle Yeoh, Vin Diesel, Jemaine Clement, and Oona Chaplin. There's also a whole group of young actors playing Na'vi children in the movie.

Avatar 2 is aiming for a December 27, 2021 release, and three more sequels are set to quickly follow in December 2023, December 2025, and December 2027.