After a Producer’s Guild and Directors Guild screening of AVATAR:THE WAY OF WATER, the guilds had short interviews with director/producer/writer James Cameron, the producer Jon Landau, the writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, and stars Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang.
James, who’s been married five times, said he has five children and wanted to tell that story of himself as a father and his children because, as he says, family transcends politics, race and religion worldwide. Perhaps, he doesn’t understand that Jesus Christ is Lord of All or Christianity, although the movie has several moments of mixing New Age religion with Christianity. James also said the first AVATAR movie he made was criticized for being more special effects than emotion, so he added more emotion to every aspect of AVATAR 2 by opening his own life to more emotion. Clearly, this worked.
Sigourney Weaver plays a teenage Na’vi, Kiri, in AVATAR 2 and explained how she got into the role by thinking of her teenage years and her children who are more physical, want to be left alone and then explode. Afterwards, I talked with Sigourney. I told her that her father, Pat (Sylvester Laflin “Pat” Weaver Jr), who had been the head of NBC TV in the 1950s, was close friends with my father as two Dartmouth College alumni when my father was starring on Broadway. (My father was class of 1929, and Pat was class of 1930.) Pat was brilliant and gracious. He created much of what is now modern television and streaming. When I went skiing at 8 or 9 years old at Stowe, Vermont, Pat took responsibility for me, making sure that nothing happened to me and hosting me for meals every day. Sig said that our conversation was the best conversation she has ever had at a movie event.
Stephen Lang, who has been a friend since GODS AND GENERALS, plays the villain in AVATAR 2, who has a tremendous character arc. After the movie, Stephen and I discussed our mutual great friend, Ron Maxwell, who directed Stephen as Gen. Stonewall Jackson in GODS AND GENERALS. I had just talked to Ron, and Stephen said he was trying to get hold of him this very week. Stephen said he added the Shakespearean scene of talking to his own skull in AVATAR 2. (His human body had been left behind when he was killed, but his emotions and memories after he died had been implanted in a Na’vi cloned character).
The New Age elements in AVATAR 2 will be highly attractive to those who watch it, but as a person who came out of the New Age and even had his own Sadhu mentor in India, I need to point out the deceptive, self-destructive nature of the New Age and other nominalistic religions. They entangle rather than free. The great news is that Jesus set me free and gave me a more abundant life. He is ready to do the same for you.
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