Have you been waiting with bated breath for more Pandora ever since Avatar released in 2009 and 3-D-CGI’d its way into your heart? No? Yes? Well, it doesn’t really matter!
Director James Cameron has been teasing Avatar sequels since the release of the first film. Cameron has made Avatar his life’s work, starting on a treatment for the story in 1994. This makes it almost 30 years since Cameron conceived of the sparkling blue world of Pandora. Considering that it’s been 12 years since he announced his plans to make a sequel, Avatar fans must be the most patient fandom on this planet. Production for the Avatar follow-ups have been delayed due to the pandemic and technological deficiencies for the grandness of Cameron’s vision. But the wait is finally close to being over. Avatar: The Way of Water is on its way to a theater near you at the end of this year. Not only that, but so many damn sequels are on the way, that the 2020s may very well become the decade of Avatar.
The Way of Water began filming on August 15, 2017. Even though filming concluded in September 2020, release of the sequel was delayed indefinitely due to the pandemic. The release had been slated for December 17, 2021, but was pushed back. Now, the release date is officially set for December 16, 2022.
Cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang all return in this sequel. Sigourney Weaver is even promised to return in a brand-new role. In a recent interview, Weaver said that she pushed herself in new ways in this role, saying, “I think if Jim Cameron didn’t know me really well, he wouldn’t have cast me as something as goofy as this. I had to work in a completely different way to play this character, a very physical way.” Cameron dove deep (pun intended!) into his ocean exploration obsession in this film, pioneering the way for technology to film motion-capture scenes underwater. Recent reports cite that the sequel is going to run 3 hours and 10 minutes long. Fans have even been calling online for intermissions during this marathon of a sequel. We need bahroom breaks, James! The director seems to be packing in all the Avatar we can handle after delaying the film for so long. But The Way of Water is just the beginning, of course—it’s just the first of the four sequels on the way.
Avatar 3 has the working title of Avatar: The Seed Bearer. It filmed simultaneously alongside Avatar: The Way of Water in New Zealand and wrapped at the end of 2020. It is set to be released on December 20, 2024. Meanwhile, Avatar 4 will hit theaters on December 18, 2026. In September, Cameron announced that Avatar 4 had already begun production. Avatar 5 is set to drop on December 22, 2028.
Rest assured, my fellow Na’vi fans: we don’t have to worry about post-Pandora depression for a long time. It looks like we’re in for a long, long decade of Avatar adventures.
Sirena He is an editorial assistant and writer who focuses on media and culture. She is a lover of horror films and believes in the healing power of storytelling.
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