Movies & Television

Why Did Sigourney Weaver Change Characters in Avatar 2?

Every holiday season needs a must-see movie in the theaters to add some extra magic, and Avatar: The Way of Water will be supplying just that this Christmas period. Ahead of its release, we explain why Sigourney Weaver has changed characters for the sequel and we introduce you to the rest of the cast as well. 

Before you worry about having to wait another decade to see the third Avatar movie, James Cameron has outlined the franchise’s release schedule, which confirms there will be one Avatar movie every two years until 2028 – fans should expect some delays, however.

Directed by Cameron with a screenplay by Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver, Avatar: The Way of Water serves as the long-anticipated sequel to the 2009 feature, based on a story the writers created with Josh Friedman and Shame Salerno.

Avatar: The Way of Water | Official Teaser Trailer

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Avatar: The Way of Water | Official Teaser Trailer
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Why Did Sigourney Weaver Change Characters in Avatar 2?

The main reason Sigourney Weaver changed characters for Avatar 2 is because her previous character, Dr. Grace Augustine, died during the first movie.

The denouement of 2009’s Avatar saw Jake Sully bring Dr. Augustine to the Tree of Souls in order to transfer her consciousness from her injured, human body to her Na’vi avatar. However, Grace passed away before this transformation was completed.

This allowed the actor to stay on board the franchise playing a different character, as Weaver will be playing Jake and Neytiri’s adopted daughter, Kiri, in The Way of Water.

As the actor is playing a teenager this time around, Weaver told Elizabeth Banks for Interview Magazine that she had to “work in a completely different way to play this character”:

“So Avatar I can’t really talk about, but I would say that it’s the biggest stretch I get to play in every possible way. I think if Jim Cameron didn’t know me really well, he wouldn’t have cast me as something as goofy as this. I had to work in a completely different way to play this character, a very physical way.”

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage

Dr. Grace Augustine’s Consciousness Was Transferred

Instead of looking at Weaver playing two separate characters in the franchise, it’s more plausible to believe Dr. Augustine’s consciousness was transferred into Kiri’s body.

Despite Grace dying before the transfer was complete, it is entirely possible that her consciousness was somewhat stored in the Tree of Souls and the doctor was given a second chance at life on Pandora by the deity Eywa.

There’s a good chance Grace does not remember her life before entering Kiri’s body, but it would make sense for Weaver to return to voice the teen if she’s still playing Grace’s consciousness, otherwise, they would have hired a different actor.

Avatar: The Way of Water – Cr. 20th Century Studios UK, YouTube.

Meet the Cast of Avatar 2

Kingpins of the first Avatar movie, Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña, are back in the motion-capture suits for the sequel playing Jake and Neytiri once again.

Other familiar faces from the first movie include Giovanni Ribisi, Stephen Lang, and Joel David Moore.

Fresh faces in the franchise include Kate Winslet, Michelle Yeoh, and Jermaine Clement, who are undertaking new characters in the narrative.

Below, we have listed the full cast roster for Avatar 2:

  • Sam Worthington – Jake Sully
  • Zoe Saldaña – Neytiri
  • Sigourney Weaver – Kiri
  • Stephen Lang – Colonel Miles Quaritch
  • Kate Winslet – Ronal
  • Michelle Yeoh – Dr. Karina Mogue
  • Jack Champion – Spider
  • Joel David Moore – Norm Spellman
  • Edie Falco – General Frances Ardmore
  • Jermaine Clement – Dr. Ian Garvin
  • Giovanni Ribisi – Parker Selfridge
  • Cliff Curtis – Tonowari
  • CCH Pounder – Mo’at
  • Matt Gerald – Corporal Lyle Wainfleet
  • Jamie Flatters – Neteyam
  • Britain Dalton – Lo’ak
  • Chloe Coleman – Young Lo’ak
  • Trinity Bliss – Tuktirey
  • Bailey Bass – Tsireya
  • Filip Geljo – Aonung
  • Duane Evans Jr. – Rotxo

By Jo Craig – [email protected]

Avatar: The Way of Water will release in theaters on December 16, 2022.

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Jo Craig
@shingeekyjo

Being a pop culture writer and a proud geek of all trades, Jo loves to dissect fandoms and marvel at their insides. The entirety of The Lord of the Rings, superhero origins, the Ghost of Tsushima score, the Wings of Freedom, and the endless search for a sleepy Tyranitar are but a few of Jo's passions, with a penchant for contributing to the geek culture community.

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