Behind the scenes and set photos from the last few months

Behind the scenes and set photos from the last few months

Since I last covered the behind the scenes and set photos that have been posted by Avatar, Jon Landau, and James Cameron, and as I always say, three accounts you should be following, there has been several exciting ones posted, so lets dive in!

This is Britain Dalton (Lo’ak) doing underwater motion capture, it looks like he is possibly riding something under the water, maybe an Ilu from Pandora’s oceans, which we will be seeing in the sequels. We have seen very little of Lo’ak so far and know almost nothing about his character at this point, besides the fact he is Jake and Neytiri’s second oldest child. He has an older brother, Neteyam, and a younger sister Tuktirey.

This is Kate Winslet, who is going to be playing Ronal. Little is known about her character so far, what we do know is that in 2017 James Cameron had this to say about Kate, “She plays a character who’s part of the Sea People, the reef people.” Kate was recently on Stephen Colbert and had this to say about her character when the photo was taken, “That’s actually a birth giving ceremony, that my character, who is a water goddess, is essentially hosting. ” She also confirmed to Colbert that she is in Avatar 2 and 3.

How interesting, one can only speculate with what we know about Ronal, but it sounds like she may be part of the new Metkayina Clan, described as a reef people Na’vi clan, who dwell on giant oceanic atoll reefs under the rule of a leader named Tonowari. Perhaps she is their Tsahìk or something entirely different than a Na’vi. I know this, she is a very talented actress and I am excited to learn more about her character.

 

Next we have two images of the character Javier “Spider” Socorro, played by Jack Champion. What we know about Spider so far is that he is a teenage human born at the Hell’s Gate military facility. The second photo really intrigues me, no new information is shared with it apart from it being a thank you from Jon Landau to Jack, as Spiders filming was complete. The first one is Jack rehearsing for a scene.

Judging by the second photo alone he looks to be very Tarzan like. Wild, matted hair, little clothing, even his movements look like they could be similar to that of a primate. I am very intrigued by this character, how he fits in, why he appears to possibly be off living away from humans. Does he survive on Pandora without a mask? Is he an ally to the Na’vi?

Another great photo from the sequel rehearsals as James Cameron shows part of the cast some concept art. Sadly a lot of it hanging on the wall is edited out. From Left to Right, CCH Pounder (Mo’at), Sam Worthington (Jake Sully), Cliff Curtis (Tonowari), Sigourney Weaver (Grace Augustine/unknown), Zoe Saldana (Neytiri), Oona Chaplin (Varang), Stephen Lang (Col Quaritch/unknown), Joel David Moore (Norm Spellman), and James Cameron.

It’s really great seeing a couple new faces mixed in with the old ones. I would love to know who Sigourney and Stephen are going to play. I believe Stephen will be back as Colonel Quaritch in some manner, perhaps as a clone. He was a fantastic villain and I look forward to seeing how they bring him back. Will we see Grace in some flashbacks as well as her new character? I believe we already have seen proof of that. Jon shared a photo you can read about HERE that mentions them being back in The Shack for the sequels and showing himself with Grace and Norm. It will be interesting to see. My gut still tells me she will be the “voice of eywa” or something similar, however I’ve noticed something in the next photo that makes me question my gut…

Here we see Sigourney doing underwater motion capture. Something I noticed though is it looks like the blue “rope” coming from her head is representing a Na’vi queue. Sigourney is on record of saying she doesn’t play the same character, which can mean a lot of things, especially in science fiction, but I feel like she very well may be a Na’vi or Avatar again, as well as being Grace in flashbacks.

James Cameron captioned this photo as- “The last set for 2020 filming —The Matador (a 50’ forward command boat) on a 16-ton, 360 degree motion-control base.” If you remember back in May of this year we saw another photo of The Matador, HERE, it was from up above and more clear. An interesting note, this ship also says “CET-OPS” on it, we’ve now seen that on multiple vessels from the sequels as it is confirmed to be on the Crabsuit as well. I am curious if that is a just another branch of SEC-OPS from the first movie, possibly they handle the aquatic portions of Pandora. Speaking of SEC-OPS…

Jon Landau had this to say about these two photos- “Garrett Warren, 2nd Unit Director, gives stuntman Steve Brown some notes before a take.” This is interesting, this is the second time we see Steven Brown, the previous time was the photo with General Ardmore (Edie Falco) and Dorman (Kevin Dorman), on the factory ship Sea Dragon. He is directly behind General Ardmore, you can see that HERE. In this photo Steve’s uniform gives off a very naval vibe, with blue and safety orange.

James Cameron captioned this as, “Three Technocranes and a Russian Arm mounted on top of a Mercedes-Benz. Just another day on the set of the Avatar sequels.” Wow, I would love to know what they are filming with the Mercedes. I’ve seen lots of behind the scenes using vehicles like this and it’s normally car chase sequences, so it is interesting to think how it may be used in the sequels. If you look at the photo right before this it would appear that the Russian arm and camera from the Mercedes is being used to film that shot. So possibly they are using it to get close to film particular shots of the large boat sets.

Jon Landau captioned this as, “Celebrating the wrap of live action photography—with Jemaine Clement, Brendan Cowell and James Cameron. Congrats to the entire crew in both New Zealand and Los Angeles. Incredible work!” It sounds like Avatar 2 is headed to post production with almost two years to get things finished to the level James Cameron envisions.

Rest in Peace Alec Frazier 1986-2021

Rest in Peace Alec Frazier 1986-2021

It is with a heavy heart that I share this news. A long time Avatar fan, Alec Frazier, has passed away. We were notified today on the Facebook group- Avatar Meet, by Alec’s father with the above message. I can’t imagine the pain his family and friends are going through right now. I’m sharing this in a public setting because that Facebook group is private and I think all Avatar fans should be able to read his fathers words for themselves.

This is the one time I met Alec in person, at the 2014 LA Avatar Meet, this picture was taken at Lightstorm Entertainment and Alec can be see at the far right holding his “The Making of Avatar” book. He was a passionate, outgoing, and friendly person.

 

The Characters of Avatar: The Next Shadow

The Characters of Avatar: The Next Shadow

Issue 2 of the ongoing Avatar comic series, The Next Shadow, released this past week. Since we’ve been introduced to some new characters and have seen some familiar faces, I thought I’d make a guide of all the characters who meet two criteria, they have been mentioned by name, and who have been shown in the comic series.

Jake Sully-He needs little introduction, but this is a Jake in a different role than we saw in the 2009 movie. Jake is now the Omatikaya Clan leader, and is forced to make many tough decisions to appease not only his clan but the humans who are left on Pandora. Jake shows up early and often in issue 1, as the series focuses on him.

Neytiri-Another core character who’s life has been intertwined with Jake Sully since the first day she laid eyes on him, and is currently Jake’s mate and she is also Mo’at’s daughter. Neytiri first shows up in issue 1.

Mo’at-Another character from the first Avatar film, she is the former mate of Eytukan, who was the leader of the Omatikaya until his death. Mo’at is the clans Tsahìk, mother to Neytiri and formerly Sylwanin. She first appears in issue 2.

Ateyo-This is a character we haven’t met until this series. While his name is mentioned by Jake Sully in the first Avatar movie, this is the first time we get to see Ateyo. He is mated to Artsut, and is the father to Arvok and formerly Tsu’tey. He first appears in issue 1.

Artsut-This is the first time we get to see Artsut, however she was mentioned in the comic series Tsu’tey’s Path. Mated to Ateyo, mother of Arvok, and formerly to Tsu’tey. She first appears in issue 1.

Arvok-A charcter who we see for the first time in this series. He was mentioned in Tsu’tey’s Path. He is son to Ateyo and Artsut, and was brother to Tsu’tey. He first appears in issue 1.

Ka’ani-A character we see throughout the Avatar movie and Tsu’tey’s Path. He wasn’t given a name in the movie, however we learned it in Tsu’tey’s path. It also further showed us more of his interactions with Tsu’tey that overlapped with what we saw in the movie. He first appears in issue 1.

Yeyongo-A new character who has an injured child. While she has a minor role so far she is named in the book and so I wanted to cover her. I hope we see more of her in the future. She fist appears in issue 2.

Norm Spellman-One of the key characters from the movie, we get a chance to see Norm once again, but so far only in human form. After what happened to his Avatar it remains to be seen if he will be able to use it again. Norm first appears in issue 1.

Katherine Hale-For some this is the first time you’ve seen Katherine, however those who are lucky enough to be able to play the mobile game Avatar: Pandora Rising, she is a character who first appears there. From what we’ve seen in the comic series she has taken on a leadership role for the leftover RDA affiliated humans who are trying to get a mine going again. Katherine first appears in issue 1.

Earl-Little is known about Earl, to this point in the series he seems to be a throw in character who just happens to be called by name. He is part of Katherine Hale’s crew who is trying to reestablish a mine. His first appearance is in issue 2.

 

McCosker-Another small character at this point in the series. He seems to be very aggressive towards the Na’vi, and makes his first appearance in issue 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metkayina Clan Village Concept Art

Metkayina Clan Village Concept Art

This is Avatar concept art of a Metkayina village, created by Jonathan Bach, that Avatar and Jon Landau recently shared. How beautiful is that picture? From this one image it takes me back to seeing the Omatikaya in Hometree for the first time and instantly makes me want to go live among the Metkayina. It makes me even more excited to learn more about this clan. I thought I’d go over what we know so far about them, although I must say it isn’t a lot at this point.

The Metkayina are lead by clan leader Tonowari, played by Cliff Curtis. They are referred to as the reef people clan and are said to dwell on giant oceanic atoll reefs. Tonowari has a son named Aonung who is played by Filip Geljo, he’s been described as a young male hunter and free diver. Two more members of the Metkayina are Tsireya, played by Bailey Bass, who is described as a graceful strong free diver and the Neytiri of the ocean, and Rotxo, played by Duane Evans Jr, who is a young male hunter and free diver. The last thing we currently know is that the reef clans ride the ilu, which is a large plesiosaur-like sea creature that is described as the direhorse of the Pandoran ocean. You can see a pair of ilu below in some previously shared Dyan Cole concept art.

The Metkayina seem to be a big part of the sequels, especially Avatar 2, I look forward to learning even more about their clan in the lead up to the Avatar 2 release.

Avatar: The High Ground new information

Avatar: The High Ground new information

I’ve come across a couple of additional bits of information for the much anticipated Avatar: The High Ground, the paperback book series which we first discussed back in October of 2019. If you need a refresher on what we knew check out this article-http://avatarsequels.com/avatar-the-high-ground/

The United Arab Emirates Amazon site has the book listed as-James Cameron’s Avatar: The High Ground Volume 1 Advent To War. That aligns with what we had already known, that the book was a series of three, so now we have the name of book one. AE Amazon also confirms the page length of being 96 pages, the same as the UK listing showed, and has the same ISBN numbers. Sadly no new information on the release as it shows the original date of 1/23/20. Hopefully after Avatar: The Next Shadow finishes up we will get more information on when The High Ground will release. Nick noticed that two of the pieces of character art from the Avatar: The Next Shadow Q&A showed two new Na’vi, and it looks like in the top left corner it says “High Ground.” So I believe we have a couple pieces of character art from the upcoming series. Thanks for the eagle eye on noticing that Nick. Pentyarus page shows is it from book 1, and neither character showed up in The Next Shadow issue 1.

Avatar: The Next Shadow Q&A with Josh Izzo, Jeremy Barlow, and Josh Hood

Avatar: The Next Shadow Q&A with Josh Izzo, Jeremy Barlow, and Josh Hood

If you are like me and you are excited about the new Avatar comic releases you wont want to miss this video from Dark Horse Comics. It was streamed live yesterday and archived for all who missed it. The video is hosted by Cara O’Neil, featuring Joshua Izzo (VP of Franchise Development at Lightstorm), Jeremy Barlow (writer), and Josh Hood (artist). Further expanding on what we currently know about the series Avatar: The Next Shadow, we get to know the creative team behind the series, and learn more about the process of bringing the comic to life. Plus we learned the series takes place in a 1-2 week window after the movie ends.

If you need a physical copy, still you can purchase a Josh Hood autographed comic from https://shop.neighborhoodcomics.com/products/avatar-next-shadow I highly recommend Neighborhood comics, they are a great small shop who ships quickly and securely. I received my copies of issue 1 from them yesterday. If you are looking for a digital copy check out Dark Horse Digital Comics where you can instantly download and read the issues on release date. You can use your home pc, laptop, tablet, or phone to read the comics you purchase. I am not able to get my comics locally so I purchase the digital copy on the day it comes out, then wait for my physical copies to arrive. It’s something I did for the Tsu’tey series and enjoy it, that way I’m up to date and don’t get the story spoiled online while waiting for my physical copies.

Click here for the Q&A

 

These two character sheets were shown during the Q&A, they show us two previously unseen Na’vi, Yeyatley and Pentyaru. Nick noticed the top left of the character sheets seem to say High Ground. Pentyarus page says Book 1 and she doesn’t appear in The Next Shadow, so I believe these are indeed characters from the upcoming Avatar: The High Ground series. If you want to read about the newest information on High Ground check out http://avatarsequels.com/avatar-the-high-ground-new-information/

Celebrate the release of Avatar: The Next Shadow with artist Josh Hood

Celebrate the release of Avatar: The Next Shadow with artist Josh Hood

To celebrate the release of the upcoming four issue run of Avatar: The Next Shadow, Neighborhood Comics is having series artist Josh Hood join them on Facebook Live to help launch the book with an interview. He will be live on the comics release date, this coming Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 at 6:30 CST. You can catch Josh at the following link- https://fb.me/e/Xnl1eNp7

If you have a question for Josh you can message Neighborhood Comics on Facebook, plus they are offering signed copies of the book for sale at https://shop.neighborhoodcomics.com

 

Omaticon 2021 was amazing

Omaticon 2021 was amazing

Omaticon 2021 was yesterday, and what a fun time it was. If you are unfamiliar with Omaticon, it was a virtual con hosted by Kelutral.com. It was a chance for Avatar fans to join up and to play games, have social time, and hear from two Avatar professionals, Paul Frommer and Ty Ruben. It started bright and early here in the currently snowy Midwest, and lasted until it was bed time. This was the first year for Omaticon but I am certain it wont be the last. While nothing can replace the face to face interactions that come from in person conventions, a virtual con has it’s own perks. Firstly it was cheap, it didn’t cost attendees a thing. There were no long lines, no exposure to COVID, plus as many people as wanted could join up at any time.

We started off the day playing a game I wasn’t familiar with, Quiplash. After watching a few games and interacting as a member of the audience I got a grasp of the game and later jumped in for a session. I got lucky and won my game so I stepped out and let others who were waiting to play have their chance. For me being a member of the interactive audience was as much fun as being one of the participants, making it a perfect game for a virtual con.

The next activity was a Discord Q&A with Ty Ruben, who was a vehicle concept designer on the original Avatar. It was a fun hour long discussion, we heard a lot of cool interesting information and he answered questions at the end. Huge thanks to him for being gracious with his time and happily talking to a bunch of Avatar fans. Give Ty a follow on twitter https://twitter.com/tyruben?lang=en

After that we had a Na’vi drawing workshop with Kelutrals own EanaUnil. She taught us how to layout and draw a Na’vi head. It was very informative and she has a natural ability to teach. I learned a lot, especially about the way to layout a face accurately. I hope we get to see more of these in the future as Eana is extremely talented and a great teacher. You can check out more of her work at her website https://layonyayo.com/

Next up was Paul Frommer, Na’vi language creator. Paul hosted a webinar on Zoom titled Language Learning vs Language Acquisition. Karyu Pawl was as great as always. He is a lovely man, a true professional, and hearing him speak Na’vi and learning from him is always a treat. You can check out his Na’vi language blog at http://naviteri.org/ and check out the video of this event below.

After the webinar we played Kahoot!, which is another game I hadn’t played before. It was used at Omaticon as a true or false/multiple choice Avatar Trivia game. I was born to play an Avatar Trivia game with fellow Avatar fans. The game excited me a lot. Mako came up with some challenging yet fun questions, and I think people really enjoyed playing and debating some answers, such as if the ikran has 6 limbs or not. Again I was fortunate enough to win the game that was played on the North American servers while being challenged and having a ton of fun. It’s something I hope we get to do again.

After some Avatar trivia we had a group watch of Avatar, there was a countdown timer so we could all sync up the start of the movie and watch it through at the exact same time. I wasn’t able to be at my computer the entire time this was happening as I had some things going on, but what I was able to sit down and listen to was cool. People were pointing out things that were meaningful to them or that they noticed, others were debating details, everyone was just enjoying watching Avatar with the company of fellow fans. I thought it was really resonated with the members who joined it.

Mako, who was instrumental in Omaticon 2021 happening, shared that there were 71 unique users, over 1200 messages sent, and over 10 hours spent in voice chat consecutively. Wow…how awesome to see 71 people join up for this. I know Mako, along with a few others, worked their txìm off so they could bring us this special event. So make sure you thank them on Discord if you haven’t already.

If you joined in on the fun yesterday please let Kelutral know how you felt about it with this short survey- Omaticon 2021 Survey

If you’d like to help support Kelutral, or just want some really fun Avatar swag from the Con check out their Etsy store- Keultral Etsy

Here is a few screenshots and the video of Paul from yesterdays events, I meant to take a lot more but got caught up in what was happening. Thank you again to Kelutral and all the wonderful fans who attended and made it a day to remember.

Happy 5th Anniversary of the Toruk-The First Flight Premiere

Happy 5th Anniversary of the Toruk-The First Flight Premiere

To celebrate the fifth year anniversary of Toruk-The First Flight premiere I wanted to share some of my favorite images and characters from the production. Toruk was truly a spectacle, rivaling Avatar the movie in the emotions it conveyed, and the amazing visuals. There is nothing quite like seeing a mighty Toruk flying right in front of you, watching a viperwolf run by, or watching the Na’vi on Pandora with your own eyes. I can’t thank everyone who performed in, or worked on this enough for all of the wonderful memories. It really touched many of us deeply. Five short years later a lot has changed for the worst for the performers who brought us so much joy, many of their professional lives are currently a struggle due to COVID, here is to a better 2021 for them all.

Toruk was a prequel and took place thousands of years before the movie. We were introduced to new clans, characters, music, fauna, and the very first Toruk Makto. It is a story of Ralu and Entu as they grown and realize their destiny-

Ralu (originally played by Jeremiah Hughes & Gabriel Christo), Member of the Omaticaya Clan, is the son of a formidable hunter who taught him exceptional focus and discipline. Ralu is a sensitive and compassionate boy on the brink of adulthood. Although he is only 14 years old (in Earth years), there is a calm and quiet force about him that underscores his carefree attitude. Always on the lookout for his childhood friend and protégé Entu, Ralu is a natural born leader. Whenever the going gets tough, he channels all his energy and skills into the challenge at hand and invariably gets the job done. Just ask Entu, whom Ralu once saved from certain death by luring away a thanator during archery practice deep in the rainforest. No wonder everybody rallies behind Ralu – his is a doer and a thinker with a heart of gold!

Entu (Originally played by Daniel Crispin, Guillaume Paquin), Member of the Omaticaya Clan, lost both of his parents early in life in a freak attack by a thanator. He is the same age (14 years old in Earth years) as his lifelong friend Ralu – his mentor – with whom he has always engaged in a healthy competition that has definitely kept him on his toes. Spunky and intense, Entu is fully in touch with his emotions and knows to follow and trust his instincts. One day, when a member of his clan ventured too far out on a cliff edge and was left dangling on a limb, Entu instantly concocted an ingenious counterweight device using his pack, a sturdy branch and some vines to lower himself down the mountain face and save the boy, showing total disregard for his own safety. With his quick wit and dauntless spirit, Entu is eager – and ready – to dive headlong into the adventures that lie ahead.

Tsyal (originally played by Giulia Piolanti & Zoé Sabattié), Member of the Tawkami Clan, is the only child of a village chief who lost her mother at a tender age. She was raised by her grandmother with the help of other members of her clan, as is the custom among the Na’vi. Highly proficient in herbal lore, her grandmother was a chemist widely revered among the Tawkami for her unique remedies and concoctions. Tsyal’s clan is renowned throughout the land for their knowledge of chemistry and alchemy, and the abilities she inherited from her grandmother are transmitted every two generations through a special bond among clan members. Spurred by her grandmother’s legacy and wanting to live up to the expectations bestowed upon her, Tsyal has taken great pride in creating innovative mixtures and recipes of her own. True to her clan nestled deep inside the primeval forests of Pandora, this easygoing, sprightly girl with an indomitable spirit has a cheerful nature and loves to play tricks. With a mere seed, she can put the fiercest beast to sleep; with the frailest-looking flower, she can induce the most beautiful dreams or provoke the most terrifying nightmares. Such is the tremendous power of the natural elements that Tsyal and her clan have learned to understand and harness.

The Storyteller (originally played by Raymond O’Neil), an Anurai, is one of the last surviving members of this clan. He has been around humans – aka the Sky People – ever since he met a feisty xenobotanist with whom he forged a powerful friendship back in the 2140s. Several years later, the Storyteller witnessed firsthand the last time of Great Sorrow during which the Omaticaya Hometee was destroyed. Distressed by the discord among the clans on his home world, and learning how humans were tearing each other apart in the wake of the great climatic upheavals on Earth, the resilient Storyteller decided to reach out once more to the Sky People who saw him as a kind of translator and a wise go-between. By making humans aware of the bravery, valor and ingenuity of the Na’vi, he seeks above all to avoid history from repeating itself. He also aims to impress upon the Sky People the urgency of preserving their bonds with nature, and the necessity of pulling together to live in unity and peace.

*This was the original background of The Storyteller, however at the end of the show The Storyteller mentions he is telling his own story, because he is an older Entu. The reason behind the change per Jeremiah Hughes (Ralu) was that Raymond didn’t feel the connection to the character or story. So the characters background was changed to him being an older Entu and from the Omatikaya clan. So the very first Toruk Makto is the one telling his story, the story of the first Toruk Makto.

The Shaman (originally played by Cumie Dunio who was injured before the premiere and replaced by Priscilia le Foll), the Shaman has a vision seeing Vitrautral, the Tree of Souls, surrounded by a lake of liquid fire, Our most sacred place-our direct link to Eywa-is burning!

Anurai Clan Chief Stacey Magiera

Tipani Clan Chief Lisanna Ohm

Omatikaya Clan Chief Christian Sanchez

Tawkami Clan Chief Nick Beyeler

Kekunan Clan Chief Viktor Franyo

Ralu

Entu

Tsyal

Viperwolf

Direhorse

Austrapede

Turtapede

Woodsprites

Toruk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Avatar Day 2020

Happy Avatar Day 2020

Well friends today is 12/18 meaning Avatar released in 2009 in the United States 11 years ago today. I can’t believe it has already been a year since we celebrated the 10th anniversary with the official Avatar account on twitter. I am celebrating 11 years by re-watching that stream. If you missed that, or just want to go back and re-watch your favorite parts, you can still do so here- Avatar 10 Year Anniversary

I’m thankful for all the Avatar fans who are still out there, who still are waiting on the sequels, and who can’t wait to go back to Pandora. It will be worth the wait!

In the short term I am very excited for Omaticon 2021, and for the upcoming comic series, Avatar: The Next Shadow. Omaticon should be a fun online fan gathering, and The Next Shadow is the first time since 2009 we get to see what Jake, Neytiri, and the Omatikaya people have been up to since we saw them on screen. Lets hope ’21 will be a great year for us Avatar fans, and the movie theater industry can bounce back in time for the 2022 Avatar 2 release.