Avatar: The Way of Water: release date, cast, plot and more

A new trailer for the long-awaited sequel to the 2009 blockbuster has audiences excited for the next instalment, which hits cinemas this week

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 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 of Walt Disney Studios presents 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 of the direction the sequel will take.

What do we learn from the teaser trailers?

The first teaser trailer, released in May, 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 are introduced to their children, as well as the human child they adopt, Miles Socorro, aka Spider, played by Jack Champion. "I know one thing. Wherever we go, this family is our fortress," Jake says.

In the latest trailer, released only days before the film hits cinemas, we get more insight into the plot, which will centre around Omaticaya (the tribe of land) and Metkayina (the tribe of water), as they join together to fight an impending human invasion.

Kate Winslet is playing the role of Ronal, the fearless leader of the Metkayina, marking the first time the actress has worked with Cameron since 1997's Titanic.

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

Disney confirmed at CinemaCon that the sci-fi sequel will be released on Friday 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.

Who are the 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.

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

Updated: December 12, 2022, 8:30 AM