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Avatar's Sam Worthington Says They Never Stopped Working On The Franchise

The world is once again embracing all things "Avatar" thanks to the release of "Avatar: The Way of Water." James Cameron's epic sci-fi adventure continues to break box office records while welcoming a new generation of fans. For many viewers, the return to Pandora is enough of a draw; full of fascinating wildlife and beautiful scenery, interest in this fictional exomoon has been big enough to warrant a theme park recreation as well as an announced attraction coming to another major park.

Still, it was a long wait between the first film and its sequel. While fans got the news of the franchise's growth and development in 2016, the thought of going well over a decade to see some of the releases would seem daunting to anyone. News of filming as well as details about the cast and potential storylines have built up interest yet it was hard for some to imagine the potential without so much as a picture. One of the film's stars is pulling back the curtain on what really happened between the 2009 and 2022 releases. That star is none other than Sam Worthington and his take could surprise viewers who thought they knew everything about the now-historic franchise.

The film's secrets were revealed to Worthington in 2015

Sam Worthington returns to reprise his role as Jake Sully in "The Way of Water." His character has undergone a significant transformation since the original film. Jake is now a family man. He and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) are parents to several children — including adopted children representing the late Grace Augustine and villainous Quaritch. For the actor, what audiences didn't see was just as substantial as what they did. He spoke to GQ about the time spent between franchise outings and provided a sense of perspective about this long filmmaking process. "It wasn't just that everyone went away on holiday. There's been someone tinkering with the camera, tinkering with the technology since say 2013," he told the outlet.

Not everyone was in the dark when it came to the project's milestones. A major memory for Worthington involved showing off designs to his then-pregnant wife. According to the actor, he took her around a room that presented the entire narrative through storyboards; it was 2015, and even he was unsure how this ambitious project would come to life.

Worthington divulged what he thinks makes this such a unique project — the team who brings this all to life is far removed from the usual production process. "The Avatar family has always been kind of disconnected from the rest of Hollywood in a weird way," he added. Much of the reason, in his opinion, comes from the fact that "Avatar" films away from major studio lots. It's also not lost on the actor how much new cast members might have been daunted by this approach "...the way we do it and everything about it is kind of daunting when you first come in and then you realize it's just a pure way of filmmaking."