Michelle Rodriguez Refused to Return to ‘Avatar’ Franchise: It Would Be ‘Overkill’ to Resurrect Character

Michelle Rodriguez doesn’t think Hollywood knows what to do with her.

The franchise staple actress, most famously in the decades-spanning “Fast and Furious” universe, recalled turning down appearing in “Avatar: The Way of Water” after her character Trudy Chacón died in the first 2009 film. Trudy (Rodriguez) is a combat pilot working for the government Avatar Program who dies in battle after sacrificing her life to support the Indigenous Na’vi of Pandora.

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Rodriguez denied appearing again in the franchise and told “Avatar: The Way of Water” director James Cameron why.

“Dude, when I saw Jim [Cameron] recently, he was like, ‘I was thinking, “What if Michelle came back? A lot of the other characters came back [in “The Way of Water”],'” Rodriguez told Vanity Fair. “I was like, ‘You can’t do that — I died as a martyr.'”

The “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” actress added that it would be “overkill” for her character to come back posthumously, no pun intended, as her franchise roles always return from the dead.

“I came back in ‘Resident Evil,’ I wasn’t supposed to,” she told Cameron. “I came back in ‘Machete,’ I wasn’t supposed to. I came back with ‘Letty,’ I wasn’t supposed to. We can’t do a fourth [time], that would be overkill!”

Rodriguez continued, “I don’t understand, it’s so weird. I guess they don’t know what to do with the girl who doesn’t have a boyfriend. ‘She doesn’t have a boyfriend. Should we keep her alive, or kill her?'”

Rodriguez’s “Fast X” co-star Vin Diesel was rumored to be cast in an upcoming “Avatar” film due to a “Way of Water” set visit that went viral. In an Instagram video, Diesel said alongside director Cameron that “there is one person in Hollywood I’ve always wanted to work with and learn from, and so, all things come, I guess, to those that wait.”

Matt Damon has been publicly asked by Cameron to appear in the franchise after Damon infamously turned down the lead role in the original film to shoot another “Bourne Identity” film. Sam Worthington was later cast.

“We must do it,” Cameron told BBC 1 in December 2022. “We have to do it so that the world is in equilibrium again.”

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