Sam Worthington says that 'Avatar: The Way of Water' is a "labour of love".

The 46-year-old actor reprises his role as Jake Sully in the long-awaited sequel to James Cameron's sci-fi epic 'Avatar' and explained that the lengthy time spent developing the project makes it feel like more than a typical film.

Sam told Variety at the movie's Los Angeles premiere on Monday (12.12.22): "We started work on it in, I think, 2015 was when I first saw things of it and 2017 was when we first started. It's been a gradual continued process, like a big journey.

"It's a labour of love rather than making a movie. That's what it feels like."

Zoe Saldana returns as Neytiri and expressed her admiration for Cameron, who is famous for creating action heroines in movies including 'Aliens' and ' The Terminator', which starred Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamilton as Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor respectively.

The 44-year-old star said: "I got to work with my idol at a very early stage of my career. If it wasn't for Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley, these iconic characters of the 80s, where would I be?"

Zoe explained that the theme of "family" is at the heart of the blockbuster and will strike a chord with audiences.

She said: "There are so many themes that will resonate with people, starting with the power of family... Family is not just the one you're born into, but it's also the one that you choose or chooses you."

James was absent from the LA premiere after testing positive for COVID-19 but producer Jon Landau sung the praises of the crew who have worked to put the movie on the big screen.

He said: "I'm really proud of the crew. Jim and I might get accolades, but we're standing on their shoulders. To see them recognised for their years of hard work makes me really proud."