In the sequel to Avatar, Sigourney Weaver is 73 going on 14.
Disney has dropped a new trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water, teasing a visually stunning return to Pandora from director James Cameron. But the footage also provides the best look yet at Weaver's surprising role. After her character died in the first film, she's returning via motion capture as Kiri, the adoptive 14-year-old Na'vi daughter of Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña).
The trailer shows Kiri speaking with her father, telling him, "Dad, I know you think I'm crazy. But I feel her. I hear her heart beat. She's so close." In the original Avatar, Weaver played a human, Grace, who dies during an effort to transfer her consciousness into an avatar at the Tree of Souls on Pandora. When Kiri says "I feel her," the trailer cuts to a shot of that tree. So could Kiri be referring to Grace, and could she be a reincarnation of Weaver's original character?
Speaking with The New York Times, Weaver said it was "incredibly exciting" to let her "inner 14-year-old" loose on the film, and she recalled Cameron pitching her the idea by saying, "You can do this because you're so immature. Nobody knows this but me, but I know that you're just 14 at heart."
Cameron also told Empire, "As an acting challenge, it's big. We're gonna have a 60-something actor playing a character [decades younger than] her actual biological age. Sig thought it was all kinds of fun."
The trailer also teases the film's underwater sequences, which were accomplished using advanced motion capture technology and by actually filming inside giant water tanks. After a massive 13-year wait, the film finally hits theaters in December.