James Cameron pushed the boundaries of filmmaking when his 2009 science-fiction epic, Avatar, soared into theatres, capturing the awe and wonder that films were meant to do. Breaking box office records (still ranking as the highest-grossing film of all time when adjusted for inflation) and winning big at award ceremonies, it was obvious that a sequel would be made shortly after. But Cameron had other plans, though.
Due to the necessity to develop new technologies in order to film breathtaking sequences involving performance capture scenes underwater, a feat that has never been accomplished before in the history of cinema, Avatar’s sequels seemed as if they were delayed every year. At the rate Cameron’s production was going, the return to Pandora seemed as if it wouldn’t occur for another 20 years. Finally, after waiting roughly 13 years, Avatar 2 has finally found a release date, making no better time to discuss the upcoming epic. Here’s what we know so far about Avatar 2.
When they will come out?
The production for Avatar 2 seems as if it has been going on forever. Long story short, Avatar 2 is currently set to release on December 16th, 2022, with Avatar 3, Avatar 4, and even an Avatar 5 to release every other year up until 2028, so let’s hope that the film will finally stick with this date. Cameron initially planned to film multiple Avatar sequels back-to-back, hoping for a 2014 and 2015 release date for Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 which now seems like forever ago. But after writing delays, insufficient technology, and even more sequels announced, Cameron’s highly anticipated films would be pushed further back.
In 2016, the visionary director announced the four planned sequels he had planned would release all within 5 years of each other, with Avatar 2 set to release in 2018. After that was pushed back again, the director spoke with Vanity Fair all the way back in 2017, adding “I wouldn’t call them delays. It was highly optimistic that we could start quickly until scripts are written. If there are no scripts, there’s nothing, right? The scripts took four years. You can call that a delay, but it’s not really a delay because from the time we pushed the button to really go make the movies [until now,] we’re clicking along perfectly.” After a few more delays, with Avatar 2 shifting from 2018 to 2020 and then to shifting release dates again due to Disney’s takeover of Fox, the film is finally set to return to the big screen (let’s hope so). Principal photography began all the way back in September of 2017 in New Zealand, shooting simultaneously with Avatar 3.
Who’s in Them?
As for the cast, the original ensemble is set to return to the world of Pandora. Sam Worthington’s Jake Sully, the former human that would become part of the Na’vi, will star in the titular role once again and the very successful Zoe Saldana, who would go on to appear in major blockbusters such as J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek and the MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxyand Avengers films, will reprise her role as Na’vi princess Neytiri. Sigourney Weaver, who portrayed Dr. Grace Augustine in the first film, will play an entirely new character, as Augustine died during the conflict between the Na’vi and the humans.
Another surprise is Stephen Lang’s Colonel Miles Quaritch returning as the film’s main antagonist. Quaritch, who led the human organization colonizing Pandora in the first film, died at the end of the film, but Cameron has confirmed his character’s return would evolve in unexpected ways. CCH Pounder’s Mo’at (Neytiri’s mother), Joel David Moore’s Dr. Norm Spellman, Matt Gerald’s Corporal Lyle Wainfleet, Giovanni Ribisi’s Parker Selfridge are also set to return.
New exciting additions to the cast include Kate Winslet, who will be playing the free-diver of the Metkayina, Ronal, which will also mark hers and James Cameron’s first collaboration since 1997’s blockbuster Titanic. Game of Thrones’ Oona Chaplin, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’s Michelle Yeoh, and Fear the Walking Dead’s Cliff Curtis will also be joining the sequels. Vin diesel will also be featured in the film, although his role is still kept under wraps.
What are They About?
Avatar 2 is set to take place several years after the first film, with Jake Sully and Neytiri having now formed a family. The two are then forced to abandon their home and explore new territories of Pandora after an old threat (Lang) returns. Although not much is known beyond that, producer Jon Landau spoke with Collider back in 2019, confirming, “Each movie is a standalone movie that we would wanna go see. You don’t need to have seen the first Avatar to see Avatar 2. It sits there and we’re gonna take people on a visual and an emotional journey that comes to its own conclusion.”
Landau also hinted the story will feature some incredible set pieces and locations, with everything from underwater worlds to volcanic environments. Stephen Lang, who already read through Avatar 5’s script, confirmed that the story made him weep, claiming it to be an emotional ride. Lang’s return seems to play an integral part to the story and fans may just witness a drastic character arc throughout Avatar and its sequels, so it should be interesting to see how Cameron handles his intimidating Quaritch.