It's been 8 years since James Cameron took us on a tour of Pandora, introducing audiences to the mesmerizing new world of #Avatar and smashing the worldwide box office in the process. Production on a series of sequels has been notoriously lengthy, with Cameron committed to thoroughly building his world before bringing it back to the big-screen.
Although the plot is being kept tightly under wraps, a picture of #Avatar2 is slowly starting to come together thanks to recent casting news and rumors. Joining the likes of Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, and Sam Worthington is #GameOfThrones star Oona Chaplin, who's been cast as a central character to the entire saga.
Warning: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones (seasons 1-3), and Taboo (season 1).
'Avatar 2': I See You, Oona Chaplin!
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chaplin is playing a character called Varang.
"Chaplin will play Varang, a strong and vibrant central character who spans the entire length of the installments."
Cameron's plans for Avatar sequels have evolved over time, going from an unspecified number of sequels to a trilogy and a fifth movie that was originally rumored to be a prequel. THR clarifies that somewhat, claiming that each of the four sequels will be able to "stand alone, but will together create a saga".
Oona Chaplin featured prominently in Game of Thrones Seasons 2 and 3. As Rob Stark's doomed bride, Talisa Maegyr, she notoriously died during the Red Wedding.
After Chaplin's character was written out of the show, she went on to star alongside Tom Hardy in the twisted BBC series, Taboo, and on the big screen in The Longest Ride.
There's no further information about her role in the Avatar sequels, and while she could easily appear as a human character, fans will be hoping that the incredibly expressive actress will don one of Cameron's ground-breaking motion capture rigs to transform into the indigenous Na'Vi.
However, there's still not much that can be gleaned from the upcoming character. The crucial news is that Varang is due to span the entire length of the saga, which is good news for Chaplin, who's had some bad luck with character longevity in recent years.
As well as the grizzly events of the Red Wedding, the actor found herself playing a woman that was subjected to a tormented marriage in Taboo, culminating in her suicide in the series finale.
Chaplin won't be alone in her lengthy service to James Cameron's gorgeous space opera, with Fear The Walking Dead star Cliff Curtis having been recently cast as a character named Tonowari, leader of the Metkayina, the reef people clan. He's also due to appear in all four sequels, but whether the characters have any relation to one another remains to be seen. We do know, however, that James Cameron wishes to explore new territory in the upcoming sequels, meaning that Tonowari and Varang may know a very different Pandora to Neytiri and the Omaticaya clan.
“Part of my focus in the second film is in creating a different environment – a different setting within Pandora. And I’m going to be focusing on the ocean on Pandora, which will be equally rich and diverse and crazy and imaginative, but it just won’t be a rain forest."
After years of slow progress, it seems that Avatar is finally getting back up to speed and finding plenty of confidence as production prepares to begin in earnest. Visionary director James Cameron isn't resting on his laurels, with Avatar 2 pushing the boundaries of what the first movie achieved technologically. Between that and the casting of talents like Oona Chaplin, James Cameron is pulling out all the stops in the hopes of taking the Christmas box office back to the Home Tree.
Do you think Oona Chaplin will be playing a Na'Vi, a human, or a human that becomes a Na'Vi? Sound off below!