Ever since we first heard, approximately 17 billion years ago, that Sigourney Weaver would return for James Cameron’s Avatar sequels, we were all perplexed (even more so than with the idea of there being multiple Avatar sequels). But now we actually know how Weaver is coming back, we’re… somehow even more perplexed.
Empire Magazine has revealed that Weaver—who played Dr. Grace Augustine, the developer of the Human-Na’vi switcheroo Avatar Program in the original movie, who died in its climax—will be playing an entirely new character in Avatar: The Way of Water. And no, it’s not a human: it’s the teenage daughter of Avatar’s protagonists, Jake and Neytiri.
Weaver will play Kiri, the adopted daughter of the couple, and just one of many of Jake and Neytiri’s family that we’re seemingly going to meet in The Way of Water. “I think we all pretty much remember what we were feeling as adolescents,” Weaver told Empire of what it was like to play a digitized blue teenager. “I certainly do. I was 5’ 10” or 5’ 11” when I was 11. I felt strongly that Kiri would feel awkward a lot of the time. She’s searching for who she is. I was thrilled to be given that challenge by Jim.”
Now look, adult actors play children all the time, especially in the world of voice acting, and it does seem from at least one still Empire released of Kiri that Weaver will also appear in some capacity as Dr. Augustine again, presumably through archival footage. But considering the fancy mocap rigs that we know bring the Na’vi to life for the most part, there’s going to be something weird about watching Weaver’s physical performance be transposed onto a teenager. A lanky blue alien teenager, sure, but a teenager nonetheless.
Avatar: The Way of Water is set to hit theaters in December 2022.
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