Everything You Need to Know About ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’

in Movies & TV

Jake Sully Avatar

Credit: 20th Century Studios

For a long time, it seemed as if Avatar 2 would never happen. The original science fiction epic was released in late 2009, and considering it was a huge box office hit, which led to it becoming the highest-grossing film of all time, audiences expected a sequel to follow some time thereafter.

The original Avatar (2009) was several years in the making, so it made sense that a considerable stretch of time would pass until a sequel was released. And now, here we are, 13 years later, on the verge of the release of the first Avatar sequel, which is officially titled Avatar: The Way of Water (2022).

Zoe Saldana as Neytiri (L) and Sam Worthington as Jake Sully (R) in 'Avatar'
Credit: 20th Century Studios

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This December, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) will return to our screens for another adventure that will revolutionize cinema all over again. And while we’ve been waiting impatiently, we’re confident that it’s in good hands, especially considering James Cameron’s track record with sequels.

Whether it’s Aliens (1986) or Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), James Cameron is a master when it comes to science fiction sequels. And the Avatar sequel is already shaping up to something pretty special, so there’s every chance it will be superior to its 2009 predecessor.

Neytiri Avatar
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Here’s everything you need to know about Avatar: The Way of Water.

Is there a trailer for Avatar 2?

The official trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water premiered on YouTube several weeks ago. Check it out below (don’t worry, you won’t need 3D glasses just yet):

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Why has Avatar 2 taken so long?

Avatar 2 The Way of Water
Credit: 20th Century Studios via YouTube

It’s well documented that the original Avatar was a film 12 years in the making (but 4 from pre-production to release), so it’s really no surprise that Avatar: The Way of Water has taken roughly the same amount of time (adding to that delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

Not only is the world of Pandora mostly computer animated, the upcoming Avatar sequel will pioneer motion capture technology far more advanced than its predecessor, which will see the film take place underwater, a task that has proved to be an enormous challenge for the filmmakers.

Avatar 2009
Credit: 20th Century Studios

The other Avatar sequels have also played a part in the delay of the release of Avatar: The Way of Water. That’s right — the first Avatar sequel won’t be the last, as Avatar 3 (2024), Avatar 4 (2026), and Avatar 5 (2028) will each follow every two years thereafter the upcoming film.

But why is James Cameron waiting so long to release the Avatar sequels? Well, Avatar: The Way of Water was originally set for 2014, but the addition of three more sequels and the need to develop new technology for the underwater motion capture is ultimately what led to huge delays.

Avatar 2009
Credit: 20th Century Studios

However, these delays have allowed the filmmakers more time to focus on the writing, pre-production, and special effects. Filming for Avatar: The Way of Water took over three years in total — which was interrupted due to the pandemic.

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How much of Avatar 2 is underwater?

Avatar 2 The Way of Water
Credit: 20th Century Studios via YouTube

Before the trailer launched on YouTube, many people have been wondering: Is Avatar 2 going to be underwater? Well, now that question has been answered. But now we’d like the answer to another question: What are some of the challenges of filming the Avatar sequels underwater?

After all, filming underwater scenes in any movie presents enormous challenges, so we can’t imagine how difficult (and costly) it must have been to add to that the complexity of motion capture performance.

Avatar 2 The Way of Water
Credit: 20th Century Studios

It has been reported that most of the cast members have been trained in free-driving, and it has also been confirmed that the film will heavily feature underwater scenes. Avatar: The Way of Water (the clue is in the name too) will break new ground on this front, as combining real underwater filming with motion capture performance has never been done before.

Official Avatar The Way of Water Poster
Credit: 20th Century Studios

So, as it will be pioneering a new technology, is Avatar 2 the most expensive movie ever made? Well, $250 million isn’t pocket change, but Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) remains the most expensive movie ever made, with a treasure trove-like budget of $422 million.

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Will there be an Avatar 3?

Avatar 2 The Way of Water
Credit: 20th Century Studios via YouTube

Yes, there will be an Avatar 3, but there will also be an Avatar 4 and Avatar 5. In fact, it was reported by James Cameron in late 2020 that Avatar 3 was “95%” complete, and we also know that work on the last two Avatar sequels is already underway.

James Cameron is also directing Avatar 3, as well as the remaining two Avatar sequels. But perhaps we’re getting ahead of ourselves a little — what can we expect from Avatar: The Way of Water? Will Avatar 2 be in 3D?

Jake Sully Avatar
Credit: 20th Century Studios

It was rumored that Cameron suggested it was possible Avatar: The Way of Water and the other Avatar sequels could be shown in “glasses-free 3D”, but he later debunked these rumors, claiming that such technology would not be available yet for the films.

Either way, Avatar: The Way of Water will be released in Dolby Cinema, IMAX, and IMAX 3D.

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Avatar 2 release date

When is Avatar 2 coming out?

Avatar 2 The Way of Water
Credit: 20th Century Studios via YouTube

It has been a long wait since the original Avatar was released in 2009, but Avatar: The Way of Water is just around the corner. The official release date for the upcoming sequel is December 16, 2022, and all other sequels will follow every two years thereafter.

Avatar 34 and 5 will release on December 20, 2024, December 18, 2026, and December 22, 2028, respectively.

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Avatar 2 cast

Who is coming back for Avatar 2?

Avatar 2 The Way of Water
Credit: 20th Century Studios via YouTube

You won’t be surprised to learn that a film as huge as Avatar: The Way of Water boasts an enormous cast.

Returning from the original 2009 film are Sam Worthington (Jake Sully), Zoe Saldana (Neytiri), CCH Pounder (Mo’at), Giovanni Ribisi (Parker Selfridge), Joel David Moore (Dr. Norm Spellman), Dileep Rao (Dr. Max Patel), and Matt Gerald (Corporal Lyle Wainfleet).

Two other actors who will also be returning are Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang, who play Dr. Grace Augustine and Colonel Miles Quaritch in Avatar, respectively. However, this time, Weaver will be appearing in an undisclosed role, as her character is killed off in the first film.

Sigourney Weaver Avatar
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Weaver is known to have learned how to free-dive, and has also filmed scenes underwater, while Lang previously confirmed that Quaritch will be making a return as the antagonist in all four Avatar sequels, despite having also been killed off in Avatar. The actor said:

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

avatar
Credit: 20th Century Studios

It has also been reported that his character will be brought to life (literally) using motion capture technology. But we’ll just have to wait for the release to find out how Quaritch will be returning to cause more problems for the Na’vi.

Newcomers to the Na’vi are Cliff Curtis (Tonowari), Jamie Flatters (Neteyam), Jeremy Irwin (Young Neteyam), Britain Dalton (Lo’ak), Chloe Coleman (Young Lo’ak), Trinity Bliss (Tuktirey), Bailey Bass (Tsireya), Filip Geljo (Aonung), Duane Evans Jr. (Rotxo), and Kate Winslet (Ronal).

Stephen Lang Avatar
Credit: 20th Century Studios

New humans cast members are Jack Champion (Javier “Spider” Socorro), Edie Falco (General Ardmore), Michelle Yeoh (Dr. Karina Mogue), Brendan Cowell (Captain Mick Scoresby), Jemaine Clement (Dr. Ian Garvin), Oona Chaplin (Varang), and Vin Diesel and CJ Jones in undisclosed roles.

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Avatar 2 synopsis

Avatar 2 The Way of Water
Credit: 20th Century Studios via YouTube

As per the official 20th Century Studios description, the synopsis for Avatar: The Way of Water is:

Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water begins to tell the story of the Sully family, 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.

As you can see from the trailer, the upcoming sequel will follow Jake Sully once again, but this time he has a family to protect.

Avatar: The Way of Water will be released in theaters on December 16, 2022.

How excited are you for Avatar: The Way of Water? Let us know in the comments down below!

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