James Cameron’s “Avatar 2” Reveals Insane Footage & Official Title at CinemaCon
Avatar 2 is not only real, it’s got an official title and dazzling footage to prove it.
After a slew of delays for a film that was originally slated for a 2014 release, director James Cameron’s epic sequel to his 2009 smash hit revealed some ravishing footage and a brand new title. Behold Avatar: The Way of Water.
Disney revealed both the new title and the footage at CinemaCon in Las Vegas (they took over the franchise when they acquired 20th Century Fox in 2019). CinemaCon, the annual gathering of theater owners, is the perfect place to reveal the new title and the first extended look at the film considering Avatar: The Way of Water is a film that must be seen on a big screen.
What’s more, those in attendance were given 3D glasses to watch the trailer, which plunged viewers into the lush, gorgeous world of Pandora, sweeping them along the planet’s crystal blue oceans and lakes, and showing them the planet’s native inhabitants, the Na’vi, interacting with Pandora’s rich biodiversity. The footage includes looks at alien versions of pelicans and whales, which viewers got very up close and personal as the pelicans flew directly at them into their three-dimensional space. Movie magic.
Avatar: The Way of Water is set more than a decade after the events in the original film, and will begin to tell the story of how the Sully family has emerged since then. Jake (Sam Worthington), Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), and their children are trying to stay safe, to live their lives, but their union is a threat to some and the family will have to fight to survive.
“I know one thing,” Jake Sully tells Neytiri,” Wherever we go, this family is our fortress.”
Cameron’s still in New Zealand putting the finishing touches on his sequel, but he did appear in a pre-recorded video message to tell the exhibitors on hand a bit about the film. He confirmed that Avatar: The Way of Water is “designed for the biggest screen and the most immersive 3D available.” He also said that he “set out to test the limits of what cinemas can do.”
Producer Jon Landau flew in from New Zealand to attend CinemaCon and said that the four planned sequels will be centered on family, with each subsequent film also functioning as a stand-alone movie with its own conclusion.
“We need to make sure [audiences] have an experience they can’t get anywhere else, and that needs to be exclusively in theaters,” Landau said.
Joining Worthington and Saldana in the cast are Giovanni Ribisi, Sigourney Weaver, CCH Pounder, and the original film’s villain, Stephen Lang. Newcomers include Kate Winslet, Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh, Edie Falco, Cliff Curtis, and Jemaine Clement. In order to goose folks into remembering what made the 2009 Avatar so special, Disney plans to re-release it in theaters on September 23. During its original run in theaters back in 2009, Avatar played on the big screen for an astonishing 10 months.
Avatar: The Way of Water will feature brand new technology that Cameron and his team deployed to capture the underwater scenes. It will likely require equipment upgrades for many theaters to show The Way of Water the way it was intended. It seems likely that many theaters will jump at the chance.
Avatar: The Way of Water swims into theaters on December 16. Its sequels are due on December 20, 2024, December 18, 2026, and December 22, 2028.
You can expect to see the Avatar: The Way of Water trailer exclusively in theaters before Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 6.
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Featured image: Concept art for James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ sequels. Courtesy 20th Century Fox/Walt Disney Studios