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

Sep. 19, 2012by: Alex Maidy

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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8:59AM on 09/20/2012
Why not? Everything else is made in China. That said I don't see why the Navi have to be humanly diverse. Why are they following the footsteps or a race far separated from themselves? That makes no sense. Sure, diversify them as a Navi species but to have essentially American and Chinese Navi seems idiotic to a planet that isn't Earth to begin with. Get actors from all backgrounds for doing the roles and motion capture, model a Navi after said persons and call that the diverse world of Navi.
Why not? Everything else is made in China. That said I don't see why the Navi have to be humanly diverse. Why are they following the footsteps or a race far separated from themselves? That makes no sense. Sure, diversify them as a Navi species but to have essentially American and Chinese Navi seems idiotic to a planet that isn't Earth to begin with. Get actors from all backgrounds for doing the roles and motion capture, model a Navi after said persons and call that the diverse world of Navi. Stop pretending the Avatar world is real. WTF is wrong with you people?! It's JUST A MOVIE!! Pandora is not REAL. IT doesn't need to be based on Earth politics when it isn't an Earth based planet.
Meh, whatever.
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+2
6:50PM on 09/19/2012

very cool, always

great to see diverse casts in films. I like the idea and can't wait for these flicks, had a total blast with the first!
great to see diverse casts in films. I like the idea and can't wait for these flicks, had a total blast with the first!
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6:42PM on 09/19/2012
The world of the future is going to be much more multi-cultural than it is today. I have zero problem with this.
The world of the future is going to be much more multi-cultural than it is today. I have zero problem with this.
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5:52PM on 09/19/2012

I'm cool with it.

It would be nice to see a Chinese-American actor get a leading role in a Hollywood film, without him kicking or shooting people. I don't think I've seen that yet. For instance, ever seen a Chinese-American actor having the lead role in a Hollywood romantic comedy, drama or horror film? Me neither. In Hollywood, Asian actors are typecast the most of all.
It would be nice to see a Chinese-American actor get a leading role in a Hollywood film, without him kicking or shooting people. I don't think I've seen that yet. For instance, ever seen a Chinese-American actor having the lead role in a Hollywood romantic comedy, drama or horror film? Me neither. In Hollywood, Asian actors are typecast the most of all.
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6:52PM on 09/19/2012
I see what you're saying, but even in supporting roles I haven't noticed many (any actually) Chinese-American actors who have that leading man vibe to them. Guys like Aaron Yoo are great but he's just meant for great supporting characters rather than a lead I think. Who can you think of?
I see what you're saying, but even in supporting roles I haven't noticed many (any actually) Chinese-American actors who have that leading man vibe to them. Guys like Aaron Yoo are great but he's just meant for great supporting characters rather than a lead I think. Who can you think of?
+0
4:28PM on 09/19/2012
When you become a million dollar making director your integrity will go out the window, you start to really become a business. When you make billion dollar movies theres no integrity left; youre a corporation and you think that way. On a business stand point he makes perfect sense and I'd be surprised more people didnt do this. I've never been a fan of Avatar from the get go, I did catch it in theaters though and that was the last time I watched it.
When you become a million dollar making director your integrity will go out the window, you start to really become a business. When you make billion dollar movies theres no integrity left; youre a corporation and you think that way. On a business stand point he makes perfect sense and I'd be surprised more people didnt do this. I've never been a fan of Avatar from the get go, I did catch it in theaters though and that was the last time I watched it.
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+2
3:59PM on 09/19/2012
Not going to see these anyway so he can do whatever he likes.

ET: They are a little too into censorship for my taste; but with mass market movies that's a non-issue anyway.
Not going to see these anyway so he can do whatever he likes.

ET: They are a little too into censorship for my taste; but with mass market movies that's a non-issue anyway.
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6:51PM on 09/19/2012
seriously I don't get people like you. You don't like Avatar, that's great. So why click on the new Avatar article and go through the whole process of posting just to let people know that you don't like Avatar or won't be seeing the movie being discussed. Come on, really?
seriously I don't get people like you. You don't like Avatar, that's great. So why click on the new Avatar article and go through the whole process of posting just to let people know that you don't like Avatar or won't be seeing the movie being discussed. Come on, really?
10:19PM on 09/19/2012
Don't know why, I tell random children there is no Santa Claus and bust into churches on Sunday informing people god is a myth too. I'll make sure to post on every Avatar story for you from here on out. Thanks!
Don't know why, I tell random children there is no Santa Claus and bust into churches on Sunday informing people god is a myth too. I'll make sure to post on every Avatar story for you from here on out. Thanks!
3:07PM on 09/20/2012
yikes, that's some life you live man lol. Whatever gets your panties wet I guess!
yikes, that's some life you live man lol. Whatever gets your panties wet I guess!
+10
2:43PM on 09/19/2012
Chinese Na'vi? Listening to the way Cameron justifies this my jaw dropped. The guy sounds less like a Director and more like a Corporate Marketing exec. "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...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 Na'vi? Listening to the way Cameron justifies this my jaw dropped. The guy sounds less like a Director and more like a Corporate Marketing exec. "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...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 projecting a future in AVATAR." James Cameron really wasn't kidding I guess when he said he's now in the Avatar BUSINESS.

If it's all about the cash for him now, I won't be seeing any of these cash grab sequels. But that's just me.
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1:37PM on 09/19/2012
I live in Singapore, and attended a talk at the Screen Singapore trade event last year where the guests were Avatar producer Jon Landau and Chinese film producer Yu Dong. I'll try not to get into any politics, but what I saw was a clash of ideologies, and I think it really would be best if Hollywood and the American film system does not come under the complete control, creatively or financially, of China. As an Asian guy myself I would be thrilled to see Chinese or other Asian Na'Vi in the
I live in Singapore, and attended a talk at the Screen Singapore trade event last year where the guests were Avatar producer Jon Landau and Chinese film producer Yu Dong. I'll try not to get into any politics, but what I saw was a clash of ideologies, and I think it really would be best if Hollywood and the American film system does not come under the complete control, creatively or financially, of China. As an Asian guy myself I would be thrilled to see Chinese or other Asian Na'Vi in the Avatar sequels - why not? However, it may come off as pandering to audiences from the mainland. As far as possible, Hollywood should focus on getting their houses in order, so they don't have to be tenants at someone else's residence - because who knows when one might be forcefully evicted?
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1:42PM on 09/19/2012
completely agree. Why are you already considering this if you're already funded on 2 FUTURE SEQUELS?! It's complete pandering on the lowest level.
completely agree. Why are you already considering this if you're already funded on 2 FUTURE SEQUELS?! It's complete pandering on the lowest level.
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