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Zoe Saldaña Sees Avatar: The Way Of Water As James Cameron's Love Letter To The Ocean

James Cameron has an affinity for exploration — especially when it comes to the still mysterious world hidden beneath the sea. His upcoming return to Pandora, "Avatar: The Way of Water," gives the director another chance at showing off the expanse he's grown to love. The film comes well over a decade after the first outing; Sully and Neytiri now have a family, but problems from outsiders threaten everything they love.

For the director, this marks a chance to show off new technology that will enhance the viewing experience. With a story so heavily connected to underwater sequences, they were essential to presenting a fully formed vision. One of the most important developments is that of underwater motion capture to fully develop the character's emotional and physical transformations (via IGN).

The "Avatar: The Way of Water" cast matched Cameron's dedication by going above and beyond to film these groundbreaking underwater scenes. Oscar winner Kate Winslet made headlines when she revealed holding her breath for over seven minutes while filming (via IndieWire). One of the returning "The Way of Water" stars is revealing their perspective on the upcoming film and its meaning for the famous director.

Zoe Saldaña understands why the project is so important to Cameron

Zoe Saldaña is one of the original "Avatar" cast members coming back for the new film. Her character, Neytiri, is facing a dangerous future while balancing the demands of her family and an increasingly treacherous world. For the actress, the project serves as a definitive point in James Cameron's lengthy filmography; much of which comes from his long-running admiration for the sea.

An appearance on the YouTube series "Hot Ones" gave Saldaña a chance to reflect on the director's intentions. "I do believe that this is James Cameron's love letter to the ocean," she said. The actress backed up her assertions with his notable list of films set around the ocean. "You saw it in 'The Abyss,' you saw it in 'Titanic,' and he's always had different angles with it, especially with the hundreds of excursions that he's done." Cameron's excursions have been well-documented, with the director using footage of the Titanic in his film of the same name. He's also ventured to the Mariana Trench for a record-breaking dive showcased in the film "James Cameron's Deepsea Challenge 3D."

For Saldaña, it all came down to timing for the director to bring this vision to life. "He always had to wait for that technology to exist in order for him to manifest what was inside of his mind," the actress said. The results are paying off for many with audience anticipation already high for this next outing and opening weekend box office tracking between $150 million and $170 million (via The Hollywood Reporter).