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D23: ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Takes Audiences Under the Scene with 5 New Clips

There's a crispness that is exquisite to see, though it will be interesting to hear whether this filmmaking approach is compared to motion smoothing on television.

avatar way of water underwater

“Avatar: The Way of Water”

20th Century Studios

The audience at D23 was the first to see five clips from James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water.” Marking the finale of D23’s second day of film reveals, primarily focused on Lucasfilm and Marvel, James Cameron joined Hall D23 by video to let the audience know they’d be seeing footage from his long (very long) awaited sequel in 3D.

After being given special 3D glasses, fans were shown five clips. The first boasted the wonders of the upcoming film’s 3D capabilities in a sequence of several Na’vi swimming. There’s a crispness that is exquisite to see, though it will be interesting to hear whether this is compared to motion smoothing on television.

A second clip introduced us to Sigourney Weaver, playing both her human character Dr. Grace Augustine from the first film, as well as Grace’s Na’vi daughter Kiri. It’s certainly jarring to hear Weaver’s older voice come out of a character that looks particularly young. Kiri doesn’t know who her father is, and no doubt this will play out in the film.

The third clip was easily the longest, an extended fight sequence between the military as Na’vi avatars and Zoe Saldana’s Neytiri. The sequence, filmed in the dark, is certainly bright enough to make out the violence, which shocked a few people in the audience. Axes and arrows to the head abounded.

Following that scene was another already presented in the trailer, though there’s more backstory. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), living life in his avatar body, tells Neytiri their family will have to leave as they’re being hunted by an unknown character.

This leads to the next sequence shown, wherein the characters find a new tribe to live with, though the rules are incredibly strict. The final clip involved Jake’s son having to learn that the new group does not associate with unknown “outcasts.”

It’s been 13 years since James Cameron’s “Avatar” revolutionized the film landscape and topped the history-making box office charts. Aside from Jake and Neytiri’s love story and the conflict at the heart of the sweeping sci-fi epic, “The Way of Water” will pivot the message of climate change to promote ocean conservation. Whereas the first film dealt more with the dangers of deforestation, the sequel channels Cameron’s personal passion for oceanography.

Avatar: The Way of Water,” is finally about to flow into theaters on December 16.

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