We’ve suspected (or known) for quite some time, pretty much since the first film, that Sigourney Weaver was going to come back for James Cameron’s Avatar 2, 3, and 4, which are all scheduled to begin production at the same time later this year. She’s said she’ll be back, Cameron has said she’ll be back, and even though her character, Grace, dies in Avatar, we didn’t see that as much of an impediment to her return. This is Hollywood after all, where people routinely come back from the dead. We’re not easily surprised. Well now it’s official that Weaver will return, and we have potential news on how as well.
Last month in an interview, Weaver said, “my part is a little different in each one…I’ll transform somewhat.” See, we told you her return was basically a done deal. She and Cameron have even hinted at various ways she could return, but now that things are getting closer—the scripts for all three movies are reportedly finished—and production is imminent, things are getting a bit more in depth.
According to Deadline, Cameron says:
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. 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. We’re both looking forward to this new creative challenge, the latest chapter in our long and continuing collaboration.
So this isn’t entirely specific, and doesn’t reveal anything shocking that fans didn’t already expect, but it leaves the door open for a great deal of speculation. The easiest way out would be to introduce someone from Grace’s family into the fold, which would explain the distinct physical resemblance. That’s also super cheap and feels more bush league TV soap opera than possibly the biggest movie franchise of all time, but it has been done. They could also go the heavy prosthetics, make up, and CGI route so that she no longer looks like her previous character. Just give her some buckteeth and different hair color and call her Suzy.
Cameron could also borrow a page from the Star Wars book, and have Grace return as something that resembles a Force Ghost. That could also fall into the cheap category, but the world of Pandora is a spiritual place, bordering on magical, and it isn’t outside the realm of possibility that Cameron and company could figure out a way to pull this off in a satisfying manner. This is also a world where intergalactic space travel is possible, so maybe they’ve developed an android or hologram or some other technological vessel where her consciousness can reside. It worked for Red Dwarf.
However they work this out, Weaver and Cameron, as well as Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, and Stephen Lang, will all be back for Avatar 2 in December of 2016, with Avatar 3 and Avatar 4 following in 2017 and 2018.