After many delays, “Avatar” fans have received some glimmer of what is on the horizon for the blue extraterrestrials thanks to a special preview at CinemaCon 2022.
Director Cameron shared — via video message from Ellington, New Zealand — that the “final touches” are being put on “Avatar 2,” officially titled “Avatar: The Way of Water,” during Disney’s CinemaCon presentation.
“I know it’s been rough on the exhibition community these last two years,” Cameron said of theaters amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “I just want you to hear it from me that [producer Jon Landau] and I are here to work with you, you’re our partners, and the best way we can do that is delivering content that is a must-see experience at the cinema.”
Now, the wait is nearly over. “Avatar 2” will be released December 16, with a third film that was filmed simultaneously hitting theaters in December 2023. And as soon as those films are done with post-production, Cameron and company will start shooting “Avatar 4” and “Avatar 5” back to back.
The sweeping 3D teaser trailer featured a lush, sweeping look at Pandora. However, Cameron confirmed that the first and only place that public audiences will be able to see the trailer is exclusively in theaters next week with the release of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” beginning May 2.
“Avatar 2” returns to the fictional planet Pandora, with much of the movie taking place in the planet’s oceans. Cameron developed new technology in order to film motion capture scenes underwater, something never previously achieved. But the underwater sequences are not all movie magic, as 70-year-old Sigourney Weaver held her breath underwater for six minutes at a time while filming. The movie sees much of the original cast returning, including Weaver, Sam Worthington, and Zoe Saldana. The cast also includes franchise newcomers Michelle Yeoh and Kate Winslet, who reteams with her “Titanic” director James Cameron.
A remastered “Avatar” will be re-released in theaters September 23 for fans to gear up for the sequel.
Producer Jon Landau explained at CinemaCon that “each story will come to its own conclusion, and each movie will deliver to audiences fulfilling emotional resolutions,” despite the multiple sequels in the works.
Landau continued, “However, when looked at as a whole, the journey across all four movies will connect to create an even larger epic saga.”
“Avatar 2” will be released in theaters December 16.