Na’vi, Pandora, Gabagool? In a new interview with Total Film magazine (via Variety), James Cameron said that Avatar: The Way of the Water is a family story “like The Sopranos.”
Cameron was defending the film’s three-hour running time, which he said was required to delve further into the relationships. “The goal is to tell an extremely compelling story on an emotional basis,” he explained. “I would say the emphasis in the new film is more on character, more on story, more on relationships, more on emotion. We didn’t spend as much time on relationship and emotion in the first film as we do in the second film, and it’s a longer film, because there’s more characters to service. There’s more story to service.”
The Way of the Water is being distributed by 20th Century Studios, a label of the Walt Disney Corporation. “People say, ‘Oh my God, a family story from Disney? Just what we want…’ This isn’t that kind of family story,” Cameron said. “This is a family story like how The Sopranos is a family story.”
Avatar: The Way of the Water picks up more than a decade after the events of the first film, and finds Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) raising a brood of five children, including Kiri (Sigourney Weaver). Cameron previously said that having a family would ground his characters and add weight to their actions, unlike Marvel and DC superheroes who “act like they’re in college.” If you’d like, you can revisit the official Way of the Water trailer now.