Following the release of the revolutionary sci-fi epic Avatar (2009) in 2009, director James Cameron wasted no time in announcing a number of sequels. And we can’t say we were at all surprised, considering Avatar went on to become the highest-grossing movie of all time, until it was knocked off the top spot by Avengers: Endgame (2019) nine years later.
But a re-release in China saw Avatar reclaim that position (which naturally resulted in some controversy). Ultimately, the film, which combined state-of-the-art motion-capture filming techniques with pioneering a new age of 3D in cinema (using RealD 3D, Dolby 3D, XpanD 3D, IMAX 3D, and 4D formats), grossed around $3 billion worldwide.
What did surprise us is how long the first sequel has taken. While the 2009 film was a project some 12 years in the making (which really shows in the meticulous design of every single frame), fans perhaps expected its successor to be churned out at least a few years down the line. However, the idea of an Avatar sequel actually happening had quickly become a fantasy in itself.
But now, the wait is over — after 13 years, we finally have actual footage of the long-awaited Avatar: The Way of Water (2022), in the form of a brand-new trailer!
Check out the official trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water below:
Oh, where to start?! This is truly breath-taking stuff, and though it is visually consistent with its predecessor, at the same time, it looks revolutionary in its own right. It will be the first film to pioneer underwater-based motion-capture performance, as it has long been reported that it will predominantly take place beneath the waves of the exoplanetary moon of Pandora.
As per producer Jon Landau’s interview with Total Film Magazine last December, Avatar: The Way of Water will revolve around the following concept:
“I think the story of Avatar 2, and the strength of the story, is what Jim [Cameron] always does in any of his movies: he writes in universal themes that are bigger than any one genre. And if you think about this, there’s really no more universal theme than family. At the center of each of our sequels is the Sully family. What are the dynamics that parents go through to protect their family? And when you get to the reef, there’s a clan we call the Metkayina. The Sullys are no longer in the environment that they know, the rainforest. They become the fish out of water.”
Between the earth-shattering success of the original film and the anticipation for the upcoming sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water is destined to become a huge box office hit. But it won’t be the second time James Cameron has dominated the global box office. Best known for his epic science fiction movies, Cameron found phenomenal success with classic disaster film Titanic (1997).
That film became the highest-grossing film of all time until Avatar, another Cameron film, took its crown 13 years later. However, he’s also known for directing Aliens (1986) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). So not only is he a master at breaking records in the global box office, he’s also responsible for two sequels that are arguably superior to their own predecessors — a rare feat.
And with Cameron back in the chair, Avatar: The Way of Water might just follow suit as a superior sequel too. But the trailer alone has left us wishing that the director would one day helm a new Star Wars movie. After all, he’s no stranger to faraway galaxies, nor is he a stranger to delivering both critically and financially successful sequels.
As such, we think Cameron would be the perfect director for a new Star Wars movie. But putting all those other points aside, ultimately, we feel that the faraway galaxy has lost its ambition over the years. That’s not to disparage shows such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) and The Mandalorian (2019), but it’s fair to say that Star Wars, well, rarely reaches for the stars.
While shows such as The Clone Wars capture the scope of the faraway galaxy, it’s something more recent Star Wars movies have fallen short on. After all, the Star Wars universe is filled with countless worlds, and yet, while the movies do showcase many of these planets, we can’t help but feel like there could be a lot more on display.
Just look at the trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water — it’s an explosion of breath-taking beauty, a celebration of the total escapism such a setting in film should bring. While we should of course be grateful that Star Wars focuses more on its storytelling, there would be nothing wrong with seeing some characters taking the time to ponder the remarkable worlds they inhabit.
Avatar: The Way of Water will be released in theaters on December 16, 2022. However, there are three more sequels in the works — Avatar 3, Avatar 4, and Avatar 5 will be released on December 20, 2024, December 18, 2026, and December 22, 2028, respectively.
There’s also an open-world video game on the horizon, titled Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora (TBA). Star Wars will be getting its own open-world game too, however, it isn’t expected to hit shelves for several years.
Would you like to see James Cameron direct a Star Wars movie? Let us know in the comments below!