As the countdown to Avatar: The Way of Water’s release draws nearer, fans have been raising a ton of questions. One of the bigger mysteries was centered around Sigourney Weaver’s return to the franchise. The actress played a large role in the first movie, Dr. Grace Augustine, but the character died during the climax. So what’s going to happen in Way of Water? Flashbacks? Clones? Earlier today, Empire Magazine gave us the truth. The actress is returning, but not reprising her previous role. Instead, Weaver will be playing the part of a member of Jake and Neytiri’s family!
Her name is Kiri, and she is the adopted teenage daughter of the two starring rebels. Empire Magazine gives the grand reveal right on the gorgeous front cover, which shows Kiri dancing in the water. Weaver expresses with Empire her excitement to connect with her inner child for the role.
“I think we all pretty much remember what we were feeling as adolescents. 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.”
James Cameron also spoke with Empire on the decision. The director had previously worked with Weaver on his 1986 blockbuster, Aliens, knew that this would be an all new challenge for the veteran actress. But from his statement, Weaver dove head first into the role (metaphorically, that is).
“As an acting challenge, it’s big. We’re gonna have a 60-something actor playing a character [decades younger than] her actual biological age. Sig thought it was all kinds of fun. Sigourney just became younger. She looked younger, she had more energy, and she never quite stepped out of Kiri for our whole capture period. She had a glow on her face and lightness in her step and a fun spirit.”
“This family is our fortress…”
With this revelation, it opens up a new set of questions regarding Jake and Neytiri’s life after the events of Avatar. After all, in the trailer, we see a young human child traveling with the family, hunting, and engaging with the battles. The character is also wearing a mask and dons blue paint, giving him the signature Na’vi stripes. Could this be another adopted child in Jake and Neytiri’s family? Does this mean all of their children are adopted? Or is there another side to possessing the body of an Avatar that we have yet to learn?
Perhaps more of these questions will be answered with Empire’s Avatar: The Way of Water issue is released on July 7th. The issue will feature “unparalleled access to the film and its cast and crew – heading to Cameron’s Lightstorm HQ and talking to the director himself, as well as producer Jon Landau, stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, and plenty more”. The issue will also feature previously unreleased images of the upcoming movie.