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What We Know About the Avatar Sequels


Avatar 2 has been on a bumpy ride. It's suffered 8 delays so far, moving from 2014 to its current release date; December 16, 2022, and taken its cast and crew to Hawaii, California, and New Zealand. But there's more coming on December 20, 2024, December 18, 2026 and December 22, 2028. Avatar's four sequels are shooting concurrently (2 and 3 are in the can, and a third of 4 is complete), meaning that the studio is betting massive amounts that James Cameron is going to give them a string of hits. Much of the internet isn't so sure, claiming Avatar has faded from popular culture in the decade since its release (one running joke involves asking people to name any character from the film). But, Cameron has pulled off making the highest grossing film of all time twice now, beating the recent competition by massive margins. Leading up to both Titanic and Avatar, their monstrous productions were painted as disasters which would lead to certain bombs. If anyone can pull off reviving enough interest to warrant this production cycle, its James Cameron. In his own words, when you do get to see it, "you will shit yourself with your mouth wide open."

Avatar Sequels

Regardless of your opinion on Avatar, what is undeniable is the boundary pushing innovations it introduced to the film world (the ill-fated 3D fad notwithstanding, though Cameron seems to be exploring 3D sans the glasses, but don't get your hopes up). From what little of the production has been revealed publicly, we can see the sequels will be following in this tradition. Behind the scenes production stills indicate a lengthy section of the film will be set underwater, requiring actors to wear complicated motion capture suits and ride what looks to be submersible animatronic jet skis, which will no doubt be replaced in the edit by a new Pandoran creature of some kind.

Actors like Kate Winslet had to train for months to be able to hold their breath under water for up to 7 minutes. Considering how well the look of the first film has aged, its follow-ups are set to look downright amazing. Shooting all the films at once has also supposedly allowed Cameron and his screenwriters to focus on a cohesive overall arc to the series, avoiding the sort of stumbling course correction of the recent Star Wars sequel trilogy. The final product will be something of a saga, transposing the focus from the original Avatar mainstays to their kids, meaning Avatar 2 features several child actors. This shouldn't be a problem, Cameron has directed some of the finest child performances in blockbuster history (creating the iconic young characters of John Conner and Newt, from Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Aliens respectively). Much of the core cast from the first Avatar will be returning, including some whose characters have already died on screen. Sigourney Weaver, for instance, has confirmed that she will be playing a different character this time round. Also expect Vin Diesel to appear, most likely in a voiceover role, and an exhaustive list of actors including but not limited to; Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Oona Chaplin, CJ Jones, Cliff Curtis, and so on.

The higher ups seem to be keeping up engagement by adding a huge Pandora section to Disneyworld, and several additions from the exhibit will be included in the forthcoming films. A re-release has put Avatar back on top of the worldwide box office, thanks largely to China, which will probably prove to be the biggest market for the sequels as well. They have good reason to be pushing the Avatar universe on as many people as possible way ahead of the release of the second film, production has set them back a cool one billion dollars. There's a possibility it won't be too difficult to convince audiences to go see huge blockbusters that are actually full of saturated colours and don't look like concrete, but it can be tough to market movies whose titles aren't even set in stone yet. These are the picks so far: “Avatar 2: The Way of the Water, Avatar: The Seed Barer, Avatar: The Tulkin Rider, and lastly Avatar: The Quest for Eywa.”

This is the most extensive plot description yet released: "13 years after the events of the original film, Jake Sully and Neytiri have formed a family and are doing anything to stay together. They are, however, forced to leave their home and explore the different regions of Pandora when their old threat returns to finish what they started." If you need a refresher: Jake Sully was the main character of the first film, a human who led the alien Na'vi to victory against his own people who wanted to exploit Pandora's natural resources. He does this by integrating into the Na'vi using an Avatar, an alien body he transfers his consciousness into, falling in love with the warrior Neytiri in the process.

It's clear that the films are mostly being made to further explore the universe Cameron has created, we'll even be travelling to other moons Pandora shares an orbit with. As far as whether or not you'll find something to like about any of the four upcoming blockbusters, Cameron had this to say: "Basically, if you loved the first movie, you're gonna love these movies, and if you hated it, you're probably gonna hate these. If you loved it at the time, and you said later you hated it, you're probably gonna love these."