Fast and Furious star Vin Diesel has seemingly revealed he has a role in James Cameron’s Avatar sequels. Released in 2009, the original Avatar became the all-time box office champion with $2.7 billion in worldwide grosses. Director James Cameron hopes to repeat or even surpass the impact of that groundbreaking film by releasing not one but four sequels, all of which are currently in production.
The first of Cameron’s four Avatar sequels, reportedly titled The Way of Water, will up the ante on the original by taking audiences under the waves of Pandora’s oceans to meet a new race called the reef people. Of course, the original movie’s main characters will also figure into the action, with a story involving the children of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and his Na’vi bride Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). The new films will also pick up the original movie’s themes of man vs. nature, as Pandora again finds itself menaced by the evil human corporate entities bent on pillaging the planet for its resources.
With the four Avatar sequels reportedly set to kick off shooting of live-action scenes this spring, Cameron has added another big-name actor to the cast in Fast and Furious star Vin Diesel. The actor himself revealed the surprise casting in a video posted to Instagram, with Cameron joining Diesel for the reveal. In the clip, the two joke about the “Manhattan Project” level secrecy of the film shoot and say they’ll have to use the Men in Black flashy thing on the audience so they don’t remember what they’ve seen. In the background behind them can be glimpsed a lot of equipment but not very much that will serve as spoilers to the untrained eye. See the clip below:
In the clip, Diesel talks with a lot of pride about finally getting to work with Cameron after years of wanting to make the collaboration happen. Diesel’s arrival in the Avatar universe is of course not the first time the actor has tackled sci-fi, as he previously starred in Pitch Black and its two follow-up Riddick movies (the third Riddick movie has not yet arrived to round out the trilogy, but maybe Cameron can help Diesel make that happen now). The actor also has experience working on CG-heavy roles, having voiced the character of Groot in the MCU. Diesel obviously is best known for his roles in more earthbound action movies from the Fast and Furious series to the xXx films. He’s also set to kick off another new potential franchise with the lead role in the Valiant Comics adaptation Bloodshot.
Diesel of course is not ready to reveal anything specific about his role in the Avatar sequels, so it’s not known if he’ll be playing a human character or a Na’vi or some other alien entity. The actor’s presence in the film does however help build up its international prospects, as Diesel is a huge star overseas thanks to the Fast and Furious movies. It remains to be seen how exactly Diesel will lend his talents to Cameron’s ever-expanding Avatar universe.