Don't be surprised if the "Avatar" sequels feature some Chinese Na'vi. Director James Cameron opens up about his plan to recruit Chinese actors to play the Pandora natives in "Avatar 2" and "Avatar 3" as a result of his recent collaboration with Tianjin company, CPG China.
"We are running the numbers to see if that makes sense," he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "For Avatar, we can certainly use Chinese actors as performance-capture actors because my accent issues will hide within the Na'vi accent."
The "Titanic" helmer explains further, "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."
Cameron's company Cameron/Pace Group, which he founded with Vince Pace, agreed to make a partnership with CPG China back in August. The Chinese company will provide camera system and other 3D production services for the big movie franchise.
Explaining why he decides to team up with the Chinese company, the National Geographic explorer/filmmaker says, "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."
In addition to working some parts of the sequels in China, Cameron plans to film the performance-capture work in Los Angeles and live-action photography as well as VFX work in Wellington, New Zealand. "That was the model for the first film, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it," he explains.
"Avatar 2" and "Avatar 3" are scheduled to be filmed back-to-back with the fourth movie being planned as a prequel. The first chapter of "Avatar" was released in 2009 and was named the highest grossing movie of all time.
Starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver, it was set in a spectacular new world where Worthington's Jake Sully embarks on a journey of redemption and discovery, as he leads a heroic war to save a civilization.