Everything we know about ‘Avatar 2’: title, release date, plot and more

The first trailer for the long-awaited sequel to the 2009 blockbuster has audiences excited for the next instalment

'Avatar', which was released in 2009, became the highest-grossing movie of all time, and fans are finally getting their sequel. Photo: 20th Century Studios
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It’s been more than a decade since James Cameron’s genre-redefining Avatar became the highest-grossing film of all time.

The movie, which was released in 2009, broke new ground for technological advancements in cinema, and breathed life into the 3D and IMAX formats. To date, it has made more than $2.8 billion.

Now, 13 years later, the wait for the sequel is almost over. Director Cameron screened footage from the second film at CinemaCon in April, telling the audience in a video message: “We set out to push the limits to what cinema can do.”

The original introduced audiences to the Na’vi people who live in the rainforests on the planet of Pandora.

Paraplegic former Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) joins the Avatar Programme to befriend the tribe. Falling in love with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) he becomes fully immersed in the community, who watch in horror as the military destroy their sacrosanct Tree of Souls in order to mine the mineral unobtanium.

From the new cast members to the release date, here’s everything we know about Avatar 2, so far.

What is ‘Avatar 2’ called?

Tony Chambers at Walt Disney Studios presenting the highly anticipated 'Avatar: The Way of Water' at CinemaCon. AP

The long-awaited film’s title was unveiled at CinemaCon. It will be called Avatar: The Way of Water, with the name being a huge clue on the direction the sequel will take.

What do we learn from the teaser trailer?

The teaser trailer is a little more than a minute-and-a-half long and starts by showing Na'vi navigating the waters and jungles of Pandora, working alongside humans. We also see Jake Sully and Neytiri, and one of their children, who looks human. "I know one thing. Wherever we go, this family is our fortress," Jake says.

The video has already had more than 12 million views since being uploaded to YouTube on Monday.

When is ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ out in cinemas?

Disney confirmed at CinemaCon that the sci-fi sequel will be released on December 16 in North America. Release dates for other regions are set to follow.

“It sounds kind of nuts, the process,” Cameron told Entertainment Weekly in December about why it has taken so long. “I mean, if Avatar hadn’t made so much damn money, we’d never do this — because it’s kind of crazy.”

The film will be released in 160 languages, across an array of different platforms.

Will Sully and Neytiri be in the movie?

FILE - In this file film publicity image released by 20th Century Fox, the character Neytiri, voiced by Zoe Saldana, right, and the character Jake, voiced by Sam Worthington are shown in a scene from, "Avatar." Cameron's "Avatar" has shot past "Star Wars" to become the No. 3 movie on the all-time domestic box office charts. Next stop: "The Dark Knight." Cameron's science-fiction saga took in US$41.3 million over the weekend, raising its domestic total to US$491.8 million. Worldwide, "Avatar" has grossed US$1.5 billion. (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, File) *** Local Caption ***  NY131_Box_Office.jpg *** Local Caption ***  NY131_Box_Office.jpg

Sully and Neytiri will be in the film, although unlike the first movie, they won’t be the focus.

Avatar 2: The Way of Water will follow their three preteen children, played by actors Jamie Flatters, Britain Dalton and Trinity Bliss. Sully and Neytiri also adopt a human child, Miles Socorro, played by Jack Champion.

“Ultimately, the sequels are a story about family, and the lengths parents will go through to keep that family together and keep them safe,” producer Jon Landau told EW.

What is ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ about?

As the title suggests, much of the sequel will be set underwater. Audiences will be introduced to a new community of Na’vi, the Metkayina, who live underwater in the reefs by the shores of Pandora.

There are also new creatures, including whale-like animals, as well as the return of the Toruk, the flying creatures from the first film.

Cameron revealed that most of the cast became certified scuba divers and worked with professionals to learn to free-dive and hold their breath for as long as possible for underwater filming.

Are there any new additions to the cast?

Many of the cast from the first film are returning, including Worthington and Saldana, along with Dileep Rao, Joel David Moore and Sigourney Weaver as Dr Grace Augustine and Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch.

A number of A-list stars will be joining the cast, with Kate Winslet, Vin Diesel, The Sopranos’ Edie Falco and Jemaine Clement all making their debut in Pandora.

Updated: May 11, 2022, 5:55 AM