Surprise, surprise. Sigourney Weaver, who played Dr Grace Augustine, leader of the Avatar programme who died in the original Avatar movie, is returning to the sequel The Way of Water in a wholly unexpected role — she’s playing Kiri, the adopted teenage Na’vi daughter of Jake and Neytiri Sully.
Weaver as Kiri was first revealed by Empire Magazine, in which she says, “I’m playing a character I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams.” She goes on to say, “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.”
Director James Cameron knew it was going to be a challenge for Weaver. He says, “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.”
To get into the role, it seems Weaver did some workshops with a group of teenage girls to “channel some youthful energy.” And it somehow worked, giving her more energy, with a “glow on her face and light in her step and a fun spirit.”
Disney’s official synopsis for the long-awaited Avatar sequel reads:
“Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water begins to tell the story of the Sully family, the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive and the tragedies they endure.”
Avatar: The Way of Water is directed by James Cameron and produced by 20th Century Studios, and stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis and more. The movie opens in theatres on 15 December 2022.