If our memories don't deceive us, Sigourney Weaver's Grace Augustine died in James Cameron's Avatar in 2009. The affable tree-hugger took a bullet during the struggle on Pandora and, despite Jake Sully's best efforts, she passed away. This might have led you to believe that we had seen the last of Weaver's character when Cameron's three planned follow ups were announced, but it now seems that that scenario wont exactly be.
Sitting down with THR, Cameron shocked fans by stating that his long-time colleague and friend would indeed return:
Her character of Grace Augustine, as fans know, died in the first movie, so she's playing a different and in many ways more challenging character in the upcoming films.
Avatar took 2.7 Billion at the box office so Cameron can probably do just about whatever he likes, but even still, how exactly can it work? Jake took Augustine to the Tree of Souls in an attempt to transfer her conciousness just before she died but was just too late. However, Grace's last words might tell a different story:
I'm with Eywa... I'm with her, Jake... she's real.
These final utterances may have seemed throwaway at the time but if Augustine's conciousness has indeed lived on in a real way then perhaps we might see her in a spiritual form come 2016.
Her memories were organically downloaded to the tree, allowing Jake to access them in order to show the planet's ecosystem just how much it was under threat. If Grace's memories are still lingering on in that very system then perhaps in the time-frame that the second movie takes place in, they will have once again become self aware.
The Hollywood Reporter and other sources have interpreted Cameron's words to mean she will be playing a different character entirely but we're not so sure. Weaver spoke to Vulture recently and said that her presence will be transformative:
it will be challenging for me. I can't talk about it, but my part is a little different in each one. I'll transform somewhat...
Cameron said a "different, more challenging character" but we imagine she will still be Grace Augustine in essence, even if she has become some sort of transcendental spiritual presence, or whatever.
It should come as no great surprise really that the director would want to keep his star around. The pair make for a perfect fit professionally and there is clearly much love between them. Weaver just seems to nail that Cameron heroine mould; a confident, powerful presence but with an exceptional fragility too.
Sigourney and I have a long creative history, dating back to 1985 when we made Aliens. We're good friends who've always worked well together,so it just feels right that she's coming back for the Avatar sequels.
As ever, we wait and we see.
Good idea to bring her back? How do y'all think they'll pull it off? Let us know your thoughts on this shock revelation in the comments section below.
opens December 2016