Mónica Marie Zorrilla

Mónica covers the shows and movies that geeks love at Inverse— 28-hours-a-week, every week.

May 11, 2022
Published on: Inverse
2 min read

Thirteen years have passed since the Na’vi leaped out of movie theater screens around the globe. The lush visual spectacle known as James Cameron’s Avatar, a sci-fi adventure that takes the themes of Pocahontas and Dances with Wolves to groundbreaking cinematic heights, convinced Hollywood that every feature needed to premiere in IMAX 3D.

Such a grandiose pageant of filmmaking technology has not been seen on the big screen since Avatar, which was nominated for a total of nine Academy Awards, scoring Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects. It even inspired an enchanting theme park at Walt Disney World resort’s Animal Kingdom.

At long last, a sequel, titled Avatar: The Way of Water, is soaring to theaters worldwide this December. Here’s everything you have to know before its highly anticipated release.

20th Century Studios

What is the Avatar 2 release date?

The first Avatar film, which has earned $2.84 billion worldwide in its lifetime, made its theatrical debut on December 18, 2009. Fast-forward 13 years and theatergoers will be able to catch the sequel on December 16, 2022.

The first movie’s budget was roughly $237 million, while Avatar: The Way of Water is projected to have cost about $250 million.

So far, we have no word on a subsequent Disney+ debut date for The Way of Water, but in the meantime, you can stream Avatar on the platform.

20th Century Studios/The Walt Disney Company

Will Avatar 2 be in 3D?

James Cameron’s stereoscopic revolution spurred countless films attempting to capture the magic of Avatar’s fully immersive 3D experience. None of these movies weren’t quite able to reach the depths of Avatar’s stunning cinematography, and 3D theatrical events fizzled out along with the short-burst trend of 3D smart TVs.

Though putting on special blue-and-red lens glasses at the movies has become a relic of the past, Cameron is hoping to reignite the appetite for 3D with Avatar: The Way of Water. At CinemaCon 2022, the director delivered a promising message:

"You're our partners and the best way we can do that is by delivering content that is a must-see experience at the cinema. With the first Avatar, we set out to push the limits of the big screen. With the new Avatar films, we're pushing those limits even further, with 3D with high dynamic range, with high frame rate, higher resolution, and much greater reality in our visual effects."
20th Century Studios/The Walt Disney Company

What is the Avatar 2 plot?

The second Avatar takes place more than a decade after the battle between the Na’vi warriors and the RDA soldiers that concluded the first film. Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) supposedly met her demise and Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) transferred his consciousness into the body of a Na’vi, forgoing his life as a human Marine.

In the sequel, Jake and his lifemate Ney’tiri (Zoe Saldaña) have formed a family with four children on Pandora. They are trying their hardest to stay together, but new and ancient threats against their burgeoning civilization loom on the horizon, forcing their family to migrate from the forest to the reefs where the Metkayina clan resides.

In a statement made to The Hollywood Reporter during an exclusive interview, James Cameron divulged more details on Avatar 2’s plot:

"In the second and third films, which will be self-contained stories that also fulfill a greater story arc, we will not back off the throttle of Avatar's visual and emotional horsepower and will continue to explore its themes and characters, which touched the hearts of audiences in all cultures around the world. I'm looking forward to returning to Pandora, a world where our imaginations can run wild."
20th Century Studios

Who is in the Avatar 2 cast?

The Way of Water boasts a star-studded ensemble cast, with familiar blue humanoids and new names as well.

  • Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once) as Dr. Karina Mogue
  • Zoe Saldaña (Guardians of the Galaxy, Avatar) as Neytiri
  • Sam Worthington (Hacksaw Ridge, Avatar) as Jake Sully
  • Kate Winslet (Titanic) as Ronal
  • Giovanni Ribisi (Sneaky Pete, Avatar) as Parker Selfridge
  • Sigourney Weaver (Alien, Avatar) as Dr. Grace Augustine
  • Oona Chaplin (The Longest Ride) as Varang
  • Jemaine Clement (What We Do in the Shadows) as Dr. Ian Garvin
  • Stephen Lang (Don’t Breathe, Avatar) as Miles Quaritch
  • Chloe Coleman (My Spy) as Young Lo’ak
  • Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie, The Sopranos) as General Frances Ardmore
  • Cliff Curtis (Risen) as Tonowari
20th Century Studios/The Walt Disney Company

Is there an Avatar 2 trailer?

Fully submerge yourself in oceanic escapism with the first teaser trailer released by 20th Century Studios and The Walt Disney Company for Avatar: The Way of Water.

Will there be an Avatar 3 and more Na’vi adventures?

Can’t get enough of Pandora’s stunning flora or dangerous fauna? Don’t worry— we’ve got at least six more years of Avatar to get through. James Cameron signed with 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios) following the film’s meteoric rise at the box office. To date, Avatar remains the second highest-grossing film of all time after Gone with the Wind.

Avatar 3 has already finished principal photography and is slated for release on December 20, 2024. Avatar 4 is scheduled to be released on December 18, 2026, and Avatar 5 on December 22, 2028.

BBC reportedly got the scoop on all four sequel titles, including The Way of Water, in November 2018. They were correct for Avatar 2. Although the official titles for Avatar 3-5 have not been confirmed, they are alleged as follows:

  • Avatar: The Seed Bearer
  • Avatar: The Tulkun Rider
  • Avatar: The Quest for Eywa

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