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Will James Cameron include Chinese Na'vi in the Avatar sequels?

09.19.2012

We can thank China for the continued upcharge for 3D movies. The technology is so popular in Asia that studios bank on making their profit from the international box office rather than just here in North America. China is where the money is so that is where Hollywood will be turning next.

James Cameron has a joint venture for 3D film production in China now. While he states that the current financing and filming of the AVATAR sequels is already in place (Performance-capture work in Los Angeles, live-action photography in Wellington, New Zealand, and special effects by Weta Digital in New Zealand), he would not be adverse to bringing in some co-production funds from Chinese backers. Will this alter Cameron's vision for the AVATAR?

Per Cameron, “Within five years, China could easily be as big a gross-revenue market for film as North America, and there are very specific economic incentives for having both Chinese content and Chinese co-production. We are already funded on AVATAR 2 and 3, but if we qualify as a co-production, there might be some incentives in the percentage of revenue we can take out of China. We are running the numbers to see if that makes sense.”

Cameron goes on to tell The Hollywood Reporter that he would not be against using Chinese actors for the performance capture work since they would all speak in Na'vi and their accents would be a non-issue. As far as the live action roles, Cameron said “So we can have Chinese Na’vi; [and in the live-action sequences] we can also have Chinese actors who speak English in the film. We are projecting a future in AVATAR, and if you project that future out, it is logical that there would be a number of Chinese amongst the contingent on Pandora.”

It would make sense that the world of AVATAR would mimic the path humanity is currently on, which is a multicultural mix where race and nationality are no longer a factor. My only concern is that we may begin seeing film projects with even stricter guidelines for both production and content. But, as long as films are allowed to make whatever movies they like without restriction, I have no problem with getting international funding. If it means Cameron can up the ante on everything he brought to the screen for AVATAR, I am all for it.

Extra Tidbit: Do you have any issue with Chinese-financed American movies?

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