Original Avatar Concept Art Reveals Striking Early Neytiri Designs

Striking Neytiri character designs are revealed in pieces of concept art from the original Avatar. Released in 2009, James Cameron’s Avatar tells the story of marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), who falls in love with Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña), a Na’vi woman on the alien planet of Pandora. The movie was a huge financial success and a sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, was released last December, continuing the story of the Sully family.

Newly-shared pieces of Avatar concept art from artist Joseph C. Pepe on Instagram now reveal a look at the early stages of Neytiri’s design process.


Pepe explains that Neytiri’s design took about a month and a half to fully nail down and that he created 113 different iterations of the character’s look in close collaboration with Cameron. Some of these early Neytiri concepts are in keeping with other recently released Avatar concept art of Jake and a Na’vi elder, both of which feature a darker blue skin color, different skin patterns, and other subtle face and hair differences.

Related: How Avatar 3 Can Finally End A James Cameron Franchise Curse

What’s Next For Neytiri After Avatar: The Way Of Water?

Neytiri, in some ways, was the standout character from the original film, and she gets a number of crucial scenes in Avatar: The Way of Water as well. While her relationship with Jake will seemingly continue to be a focus in future Avatar movies, Neytiri’s dynamic with several other characters could also be incredibly important. After killing Quaritch (Stephen Lang) in the first movie, the sequel sees Neytiri face off against his Na’vi clone, something that is ultimately left unresolved at the end of the film.

In addition to an inevitable future showdown with Quaritch, whose last words to her are “I owe you a death,” Neytiri’s dynamic with Spider will also seemingly continue to be explored. Although Jake mostly accepts Spider as a member of the Sully family, Neytiri is far less open, expressing clearly that she believes that the young human should live with his own kind. After Neytiri draws a knife on Spider and threatens to kill him during the Avatar: The Way of Water climax, it’s likely that future sequels will more fully explore the fallout of her extreme actions.

It’s also been confirmed that Avatar 3 and the other sequels won’t feature Jake as the narrator, with new characters offering their own points of view. While Lo’ak (Britain Dalton) will be the narrator for the third film, it’s certainly possible that Neytiri will be the narrator in films four or five. Avatar 5 is also confirmed to be heading to Earth for some scenes, which will serve as a major eye-opening experience for Neytiri. In any case, Saldaña’s character will seemingly continue to play a crucial role in the franchise in the years ahead.

More: How Old Jake & Neytiri Are In Avatar (& Their Ages In The Sequels)

Source: Joseph C. Pepe

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