Avatar: The Way Of Water Release Date, Cast, Trailer & Everything

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Title Of Avatar: The Way Of Water

James Cameron had previously stated that the film will likely not be entitled “Avatar 2“, since Jake is no longer an avatar at the end of the first movie, but rather a Na’vi. No final title had yet been announced officially, but an April 2016 press release featured a new “Avatar” logo (found in the infobox at the top). Additionally, a November 2018 BBC article claimed that the title would be Avatar: The Way of Water. Cameron later explained in a February 2019 ET interview that the title was one of many under consideration and no final decision about titles had been made yet.

On April 25th, 2022, the Polish branch of Disney announced that the Polish name would be “Istoda Wody”, translating to “The Essence of Water” in English. Avatar: The Way of Water was later confirmed to be the final, English title during Walt Disney’s CinemaCon 2022 presentation.

Avatar: The Way Of Water Release Date, Cast, Trailer & Everything

Avatar: The Way Of Water – Film Information

Avatar: The Way of Water
Film information
Directed by James Cameron
Produced by Jon Landau
James Cameron
Written by James Cameron
Josh Friedman
Starring Sam Worthington
Zoë Saldaña
Joel David Moore
Sigourney Weaver
CCH Pounder
Stephen Lang
Vin Diesel
Kate Winslet
Music by Simon Franglen
Cinematography Russell Carpenter
Editing by James Cameron
David Brenner
John Refoua
Stephen E. Rivkin
Studio 20th Century Fox, Lightstorm Entertainment
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release Date(s) December 16, 2022
Running Time Unknown
Language English
Budget $250 million
Gross Revenue Unknown
Preceded by Avatar
Followed by Avatar 3 (Working Title)

 

Avatar: The Way of Water (mostly known as Avatar 2) is a upcoming American science-fiction directed by James Cameron and produced by 20th Century Studios. It is the first of four planned sequels to the 2009 film Avatar. The Way of Water is currently set for a release on December 16, 2022 with the following three sequels to be released, respectively, on December 20, 2024, December 18, 2026 and December 22, 2028. The film has been under development since 2010, and completed pre-production in 2017, with much of the motion capture and principal photography completed by early 2020. With filming having concluded in September 2020, the film is now in postproduction.

A teaser trailer for the film was shown in 3D on April 27, 2022, during Walt Disney Studio’s presentation for CinemaCon 2022 and began showing publicly on May 6, 2022, in-line with the premiere of Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It was released online on May 9th, 2022

Avatar 2 first-look images

Arguably the most captivating thing about the first Avatar movie was its setting, the incredible and fully realised world of Pandora, where the Na’vi have lived peacefully for generations.

The official Twitter account promises you’ll see plenty more of it in the films to come, not just the familiar landmarks of the first entry, but all-new areas of the breathtaking planet.

In his episode of Variety’s Directors on Directors, Cameron explained: “Earth is not one ecosystem; it has desert, it has rainforest, it has ocean, polar, arboreal, forest and so on.

“So I said: ‘Well, I’m inspired by Earth. I’m going to do a planet that’s so rich and so complex, that has so many different ecosystems, I can just spend as much time here as I need to’.”

The concept art below shows off beautiful beaches, with ocean adventures said to feature heavily in the upcoming sequels, as one of the most challenging parts of production has been mastering underwater technology.

 

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Avatar: The Way Of Water – Teaser Trailer

UPDATED with teaser trailer: After playing the Avatar: The Way of Water trailer exclusively in theaters on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness this past weekend, Disney made it available online Monday.

Check it out above; it’s the same trailer that was played during Disney’s CinemaCon presentation last month:

The sequel to the highest-grossing movie ever is set more than a decade after the events of the first film. It follows the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.

The sequel also stars Sigourney Weaver, Kate Winslet, Michelle Yeoh, Edie Falco, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Oona Chaplin, Jermaine Clement and more.

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The big deal again on this movie directed and produced by James Cameron and produced by Jon Landau is the 3D element. While Avatar in 2009 made 3D a big deal, and ushered in a revived form of cinema, Disney is going to have to get audiences excited again about the format.

This past weekend, Doctor Strange 2 saw 9% of its ticket sales repped by those who saw it in 3D. That number wasn’t far from Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s opening weekend turnout in 3D (9%) and pre-pandemic levels of Captain Marvel (11%) and Ant-Man & The Wasp (10%).

Avatar: The Way of Water hits theaters globally on December 16, 2022.

PREVIOUSLY, APRIL 27: After months, nay years, of suspense, Disney on Wednesday unveiled the first trailer for James Cameron’s Avatar sequel, also giving the movie an official title. Now known as Avatar: The Way of Water, the 20th Century Studios sci-fi adventure releases overseas starting December 14 and heads to North America on December 16.

Producer Jon Landau came in from New Zealand to make the Disney presentation at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.

“One of the strengths of Jim Cameron’s scripts is they are always universal and relatable themes that he weaves into them,” the Oscar-winning producer said.

What’s in the trailer?

As Cameron always promised, Avatar 2 takes place in and around the ocean. Sully and Neytiri have children. “Wherever we go,” says Sully, “I know one thing: this family is our fortress.” The sequel looks even more jaw-dropping in its deep-blue visuals than the 2009 film. All new creatures: We see the Na’vi on flying fish bird creatures, communing with a whale, and yet somehow divided despite their affinity with nature. The alien people are split, battling against each other in a guns vs. arrows fight. It’s truly a whole new world, upping the stakes of the previous three-time Oscar-winning 2009 original.

It was also revealed that Disney will rerelease the original Avatar on September 23 around the globe with remastered audio and sound. That film is the highest-grossing movie of all time worldwide at $2.8 billion, regaining that title after overtaking Avengers: Endgame during the pandemic.  

The sequel stars Sigourney Weaver, Kate Winslet, Michelle Yeoh, Edie Falco, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Oona Chaplin, Jermaine Clement and more. 

Avatar 2 release date (plus Avatar 3, 4 and 5)

Avatar: The Way of Water will be released in cinemas worldwide on Friday 16th December 2022.

This release date marks roughly 13 years to the day since the release of the first film.

Filming on the sequels took such a long time because of the technological advancements required to tell the story and the logistical challenges of filming Avatar 2, 3 and 4 at the same time.

Following the latest shuffle of Warner Bros release dates, Avatar 2 will now be going up against Shazam! Fury of the Gods at the box office, with the director of the DC Comics sequel recently acknowledging his tough competition.

“Poor James Cameron must be shaking in his boots right now,” tweeted David F Sandberg in March 2022. Here’s hoping there’s enough room at the multiplex for both films to find an audience.

Once the first Avatar sequel is finally released, fans won’t have so long to wait for further adventures on Pandora, as Avatar 3 is slated for just two years later on 20th December 2024.

There will be another two years before the following entry, as Avatar 4 is currently due to arrive on 18th December 2026, while the fifth movie will launch on 22nd December 2028.

Of course, take this ambitious plan with a grain of salt; Avatar 2 was initially scheduled for release in 2014, so that gives you an idea of just how unreliable these official dates have been up until now.

However, it does bode well that much of the principal photography for the first trilogy is now complete, with Cameron offering an update to Dune director Denis Villeneuve as part of Variety’s Directors on Directors series.

“Avatar 2 is kind of fully in the can, we have a working cut that we’re filling in the visual effects and I feel pretty confident with that film,” he said.

“[Avatar] 3 is still a bit shadowy, it’s way too long and I haven’t really turned my energy into a disciplined cutting process on that yet, but I know I’ve got it. I know I’ve got the performances and that’s the important thing.”

He added: “I’ve done all the capture and I’ve done most of the live-action shooting. I still have a little bit on some of the adult characters because we were more concerned with the kids ageing out [of their roles].”

What will the Avatar films be called?

BBC News previously reported that it had “seen documentation” which revealed the titles for the four sequels as the following:

  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • Avatar: The Seed Bearer
  • Avatar: The Tulkun Rider
  • Avatar: The Quest for Eywa

However, nothing has been officially confirmed just yet and, even if the documentation is accurate, the titles could very well change before release.

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Avatar 2 cast – new and returning characters

The following cast members have been confirmed for Avatar 2: The Way of Water.

  • Sam Worthington as Jake Sully
  • Zoe Saldaña as Neytiri
  • Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch
  • Giovanni Ribisi as Parker Selfridge
  • Joel David Moore as Dr Norm Spellman
  • Vin Diesel as TBC
  • Edie Falco as General Ardmore
  • Michelle Yeoh as Dr Karina Mogue
  • Jemaine Clement as Dr Ian Garvin
  • Cliff Curtis as Tonowari
  • Kate Winslet as Ronal
  • Sigourney Weaver as TBC
  • CCH Pounder as Mo’at
  • Jamie Flatters as Neteyam
  • Britain Dalton as Lo’ak
  • Trinity Bliss as Tuktirey (“Tuk”)
  • Bailey Bass as Tsireya (“Reya”)
  • Filip Geljo as Aonung
  • Duane Evans Jr. as Rotxo
  • Dileep Rao as Dr Max Patel
  • Matt Gerald as Corporal Lyle Wainfleet
  • Jack Champion as Javier “Spider” Socorro
  • Brendan Cowell as Captain Mick Scoresby
  • Oona Chaplin as Varang
  • CJ Jones as TBC

A key focus of the Avatar sequels will continue to be the characters of Jake Sully and Neytiri, played by Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana respectively, who reportedly will have started a family together in the sequel.

Interestingly, Cameron’s longtime collaborator Sigourney Weaver has stated she will also return for the next movie, but told The Jonathan Ross Show back in 2015 that she won’t be playing the same character.

That makes sense given that the fate of Dr Grace Augustine was left uncertain by the events of the first film, although it appears that death will be no major obstacle in this sci-fi saga.

Case in point: it has also been confirmed that Stephen Lang (Don’t Breathe) will be returning for the sequels as the villainous Colonel Miles Quaritch, who was killed after waging an immoral war against the Na’vi in the first film’s final act.

“I’m not going to say exactly how we’re bringing him back, but it’s a science fiction story, after all,” Cameron told Deadline in 2013. His character will evolve into really unexpected places across the arc of our new three-film saga.”

Other returning cast members include Giovanni Ribisi as corporate stooge Parker Selfridge, Matt Gerald as mercenary Lyle Wainfleet and CCH Pounder as Neytiri’s mother Mo’at, while Joel David Moore and Dileep Rao reprise their roles as Jake’s human allies Dr Norm Spellman and Dr Max Patel.

In addition to reuniting much of his original cast, Cameron has also made some big-name additions to the Avatar universe, including a reunion with his Titanic star Kate Winslet.

The actor, who recently earned acclaim for her harrowing role on HBO’s Mare of Easttown, will play a free-diving Na’vi of the reef tribe Metkayina named Ronal.

Cliff Curtis (The Meg) plays Tonowari, the leader of the water-dwelling people, with relative newcomers Bailey Bass, Filip Geljo and Duane Evans Jr among the other members of the clan.

Nurse Jackie star Edie Falco will play a military commander working for the sinister Resources Development Administration (or RDA), while Brendan Cowell (Press) is a Pandora-based hunter working for the private sector.

Michelle Yeoh (Star Trek: Discovery) and Jemaine Clement (What We Do in the Shadows) have also joined the project as scientists Dr Karina Mogue and Dr Ian Garvin respectively.

It has also been confirmed that Oona Chaplin (Taboo), Vin Diesel (Fast & Furious) and CJ Jones (Baby Driver) will also be part of the Avatar saga, but little is known about their characters at this stage.

Behind the camera, Simon Franglen (Titanic) has been brought on board to score all the forthcoming Avatar sequels after the original composer, James Horner, passed away in 2015 (as explained by producer Jon Landau).

Avatar 2 story and plot

James Cameron has revealed only a few details about Avatar 2, the most important being that much of the story will take place underwater around a settlement by the Metkayina people.

“There’s a tremendous amount of water work across Avatar two and three,” Cameron told Collider. “It’s ongoing into four and five, but the emphasis is on two and three.”

More recently, Avatar 2 star Stephen Lang said that fans will be “enchanted and fascinated” by the upcoming films.

“Look, there are people who are going to just adore this world,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s just a beautifully imagined universe that Cameron has conceived of here.

“The partners we have, the people working by his [side], are committed to the vision of it and they bring so much to the table, from the actors to the caterers and everybody else. I’m looking forward to it as much as everyone else. It’s been so long in the making, so long a part of my life.

In May 2020, a teaser picture of the cast doing some motion-capture work in a 900,000 gallon water tank was released online, showing that Cameron wasn’t kidding about the scale of the work.

We also know that each sequel will be a standalone adventure, rather than another instalment in a serialised story.

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“Each movie is a standalone movie that we would want to go see,” producer Jon Landau told Collider. “You don’t need to have seen the first Avatar to see Avatar 2. It sits there and we’re gonna take people on a visual and an emotional journey that comes to its own conclusion.”

Later, Landau also revealed that Avatar 2 is something of a family story.

“This is the story of the Sully family and what one does to keep their family together,” he said. “Jake and Neytiri have a family in this movie, they are forced to leave their home, they go out and explore the different regions of Pandora, including spending quite a bit of time on the water, around the water, in the water.”

According to GamesRadar, Jake and Neytiri will have three children in the Avatar sequels: Neteyam, Lo’ak and Tuktirey.

Everything else is up in the air, but we expect more details to come out as we inch closer to its December 2022 release date – check back here for more info as we have it.

Plot

Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water follows the journey of Jake Sully and Neytiri’s newfound family. Despite their best efforts to keep their family together, a familiar threat resurfaces and forces Jake, Neytiri, and their four children to flee to the land of the Metkayina clan.

Avatar: The Way of Water‘s plot will be a fully-encapsulated, standalone narrative, as will the other sequels, but will also be part of a meta-narrative that extends across Avatar: The Way of WaterAvatar 34 and 5.

Why was Avatar 2 delayed?

Like most films around the world, shooting on Avatar 2 was halted as the world locked down – but thanks to New Zealand’s powerful response to the coronavirus, production was able to restart relatively quickly.

“We feel very comfortable because of the actions of [the NZ] government and also the responsibility the people took to really curb the virus there,” producer Jon Landau told Radio New Zealand in May 2020.

“So we feel we’re coming back to the safest place in the world possible thanks to a team of people that we’ve worked with. We believe we have a very thoughtful, detailed and diligent safety plan that will keep everybody as safe as possible in these unprecedented times.”

Avatar 2 resumed shooting on Monday 15th June 2020 and finally wrapped that September, after a truly epic production cycle that has stretched far beyond what most fans had expected.

Before coronavirus became an issue, the sequels had already taken a long time to start filming, largely due to Cameron’s bold choice to work on three of them simultaneously.

That required all the scripts to be written and a huge amount of design work to be completed before cameras could start rolling, not to mention the substantial technological development required to make his underwater vision a reality.

“It was highly optimistic that we could start quickly until scripts are written,” the filmmaker told Vanity Fair in November 2017. “If there’s no scripts, there’s nothing, right?

“The scripts took four years. You can call that a delay, but it’s not really a delay because from the time we pushed the button to really go make the movies [until now], we’re clicking along perfectly.”

Avatar 2 filming techniques

Initially, the films were reportedly delayed because Cameron was intent on making them a technological marvel on the same scale as the original.

To do so, he turned to underwater CGI, which has never been done in any great measure beforehand, and meant a long spell of pre-production.

Cameron explained the main issues of this filming technique in an interview with Collider.

“The problem with water is not the underwater part, but the interface between the air and the water, which forms a moving mirror,” he said.

“That moving mirror reflects all the dots and markers, and it creates a bunch of false markers. It’s a little bit like a fighter plane dumping a bunch of chaff to confuse the radar system of a missile. It creates thousands of false targets, so we’ve had to figure out how to get around that problem, which we did.

“Basically, whenever you add water to any problem, it just gets ten times harder. So, we’ve thrown a lot of horsepower, innovation, imagination and new technology at the problem, and it’s taken us about a year and a half now to work out how we’re going to do it.”

WATCH AVATAR ON DISNEY+

As we touch every bit of wood around us, it seems as though the sequel will finally hit cinemas in December 2022.

Once the sequel does arrive this year, it’ll kickstart a succession of sequels every other year until Avatar 5 in December 2028. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves and concentrate on Avatar 2 for now.

Here’s everything you need to know about the long-delayed sequel to James Cameron’s blockbuster.

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