After 13 years of waiting, the second installment of James Cameron’s Avatar franchise — Avatar: The Way of Water — is finally releasing in theaters this week. Many actors who were a part of the original movie returned in this sequel, even some actors who played characters that died in the original movie. The two best examples are Stephen Lang, who played Colonel Miles Quaritch, and Sigourney Weaver, who played Doctor Grace Augustine. We have already written about Stephen Lang and his return as the villain Colonel Quaritch in the sequel, but what about Sigourney Weaver? We know that her character died in the original movie, so how is she back, and which character is playing in The Way of Water? SPOILER ALERT!
In Avatar: The Way of Water, Sigourney Weaver plays Kiri, a teenage Na’vi who is an adopted daughter of Jake and Neytiri. Kiri was birthed from the avatar of the deceased Grace Augustine, who Weaver played in the original movie. However, although Grace is Kiri’s biological mother, the movie doesn’t reveal who is her biological father, although that question was asked at several points throughout the movie. It is expected that the answer will be revealed in one of the upcoming sequels. Sigourney Weaver also reprised the role of Grace in a few scenes in The Way of Water, but Kiri is her main character in the sequel. Weaver is also set to reprise the role of Kiri in the upcoming movies in the Avatar franchise.
In how many James Cameron movies did Sigourney Weaver star? Who has she played in Avatar?
Sigourney Weaver and James Cameron have known each other for a while. They worked together for the first time in the 1986 Aliens, in which Weaver reprised the role of Ellen Ripley from the original Alien movie directed by Ridley Scott in 1979. Weaver and Cameron reunited while working on the original Avatar movie, which was released in 2009.
In the original Avatar movie, Sigourney Weaver played Doctor Grace Augustine. She is a great scientist who was the head of the Avatar Program and also an avatar driver. She established a school where she was teaching English to members of the Omaticaya clan. She was always trying to make peace between humans and the Omaticaya clan, but she was ultimately killed by Quaritch while the good guys were escaping detention after the fall of the Hometree.
What is Sigourney Weaver’s role in Avatar: The Way of Water?
Although the Omaticaya clan tried to save Grace by transferring her into her own avatar permanently, it didn’t succeed. After her death, Mo’at said that Grace was with Eywa now. Still, the original movie did not reveal what happened to Grace’s avatar. In The Way of Water, it was revealed that Grace’s avatar (now placed in a special tank to keep it safe) was pregnant, and a young Na’vi named Kiri, also played by Weaver, was born. Jake and Neytiri accepted Kiri as their own daughter, and Kiri was visiting the avatar of her own mother.
During the movie, the question of Kiri’s biological father was asked, but a clear answer was not given, hence that it’s one of the mysteries that could be resolved in the upcoming sequels. The audience witnessed that Kiri has a strong connection with Eywa. While visiting The Cove of the Ancestors, Kiri connected with the Tree of Souls of the Metkayina clan, linking her with her Grace. Kiri asked Grace who is her father, but before Grace could answer, Kiri suffered a violent seizure which terminated the connection.
Will Sigourney Weaver return in the upcoming Avatar sequels?
Unlike the original Avatar movie, which could stand on its own, the sequel Avatar: The Way of Water asked a lot of questions, and not all of them were answered by the end of the movie. Therefore, we will need to wait for the third installment, and even maybe the fourth and fifth ones, to find out all the answers. The good news is that the second and the third movie were filmed back-to-back, and the third movie is expected to drop in theaters in only two years, on December 20, 2024.
Sigourney Weaver is confirmed to reprise the role of Kiri in the third installment of the franchise, as well as the fourth one, which is currently in production. From what we have seen in The Way of Water, Kiri’s story is still only at the beginning, and it’s obvious the sequels will need more of her. Also, considering the connection she has with Eywa and the question about her parentage, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we would see Weaver as Grace Augustine again, the same way we saw her in The Way of Water.
After the release of the original Avatar movie, James Cameron wanted to develop the whole story across four announced sequels before he started production. The second and the third movie were filmed back-to-back between 2017 and 2020, and the fourth one is currently in production. James Cameron stated that the script for the fifth movie is also finished.
All the announced sequels are expected to be released with a two-year gap between each other, meaning that the fourth movie is expected in December 2026 and the fifth one in December 2028. Some reports are already saying that Cameron is interested in mentoring someone to direct more movies after the fifth installment, but it is still way too early to say anything on that matter.
Avatar: The Way of Water is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, and it will be released worldwide this week, on December 16, 2022.