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Avatar: The Way of Water is an upcoming epic science fiction film directed by James Cameron and produced by 20th Century Studios. It is the direct sequel to Avatar and is set to be released on December 16, 2022.


Jake Sully and Neytiri have formed a family and are doing anything they can to stay together. However, when an old threat returns to finish what they started, they are forced to leave their home and explore the different regions of Pandora.[1]



  • Sam Worthington as Jake Sully:
    A former human who fell in love with Neytiri and befriended the Na'vi after becoming a part of the Avatar Program, eventually taking their side in their conflict with humans and leading them to victory; at the end of the first film, he becomes the new leader of the Omaticaya (the Na'vi clan central to the story) alongside Mo'at and transfers his mind into his avatar permanently.[citation needed]
  • Zoe Saldana as Neytiri:
    Daughter to the previous clan chief, future Tsahìk of the clan, and mate to Jake Sully.[citation needed]
  • C.C.H. Pounder as Mo'at:
    The Omaticaya's spiritual leader and Neytiri's mother.[citation needed]
  • Cliff Curtis as Tonowari:
    The leader of the reef people clan of Metkayina.[citation needed]
  • Jamie Flatters as Neteyam:
    Jake and Neytiri's first son and oldest child.[citation needed]
  • Britain Dalton as Lo'ak:
    Jake and Neytiri's second son.[citation needed]
  • Trinity Bliss as Tuktirey:
    Jake and Neytiri's eight-year-old daughter and their youngest child.[citation needed]
  • Bailey Bass as Tsireya:
    A graceful and strong free-diver of the Metkayina.[citation needed]
  • Filip Geljo as Aonung:
    A young male hunter and free-diver of the Metkayina.[citation needed]
  • Duane Evans Jr. as Rotxo:
    A young male hunter and free-diver of the Metkayina.[citation needed]
  • Kate Winslet as Ronal:
    A free-diver of the Metkayina.[citation needed]



In 2006, Cameron stated that if Avatar was successful, he hoped to make two sequels to the film. In 2010, he said the film's widespread success confirmed that he would do so. The sequels were originally scheduled for release in December 2014 and 2015. He included certain scenes in the first film for future story follow-ups. Cameron planned to shoot the sequels back-to-back and to begin work "once the novel is nailed down".[2] He stated that the sequels would widen the universe while exploring other moons of Polyphemus.[3] The first sequel would focus on the ocean of Pandora and also feature more of the rainforest.[4] He intended to capture footage for this sequel at the bottom of the Mariana Trench using a deepwater submersible.[5] In 2011, Cameron stated that he was just starting to design the ocean ecosystem of Pandora and the other worlds to be included in the story. The storyline, although continuing the environmental theme of the first film, would not be "strident" since the film will concentrate on entertainment.[6]

The sequels were confirmed as continuing to follow the characters of Jake and Neytiri in December 2009. Cameron implied that the humans would return as the antagonists of the story.[7] In 2011, Cameron stated his intention to film the sequels at a higher frame rate than the industry standard 24 frames per second, in order to add a heightened sense of reality.[8][9] In 2013, Cameron announced that the sequels would be filmed in New Zealand, with performance capture to take place in 2014. An agreement with the Fifth National Government of New Zealand required at least one world premiere to be held in Wellington and at least NZ$ 500 million (approximately US$410 million at December 2013 exchange rates) to be spent on production activity in New Zealand, including live-action filming and visual effects. The New Zealand government announced it would raise its baseline tax rebate for filmmaking from 15% to 20%, with 25% available to international productions in some cases and 40% for New Zealand productions (as defined by section 18 of the New Zealand Film Commission Act 1978).[10][11]

In 2012, Cameron mentioned a possible third sequel for the first time; it was officially confirmed the following year.[12][13] Cameron was then looking to release Avatar 2 in 2015, but later that year, production was rescheduled for 2014, with the film to be released in December 2016, and to be followed by the two other sequels in 2017 and 2018. By 2015, the scheduled release dates for the sequels were each delayed by another year, with the first sequel expected to be released in December 2017; this was due to the writing process, which Cameron called "a complex job".[14][15] The following month, Fox announced a further release delay.[16] As of February 2016, production of the sequels was scheduled to begin in April 2016 in New Zealand.[17]

In April 2016, Cameron announced at CinemaCon that there will be four Avatar sequels, all of which will be filmed simultaneously, with release dates in December 2018, 2020, 2022, and 2023, respectively.[18][19] In late October 2016, it was reported that Cameron was going to push for "glasses-free 3D" with the sequels,[20] but he later disagreed with these rumors and did not think the technology would be there yet.[21] In March 2017, Cameron revealed that Avatar 2 would not be released in 2018, as originally believed.[22] On April 27, 2017, the release dates for all four sequels were ultimately announced: December 18, 2020 for Avatar 2, December 17, 2021 for Avatar 3, December 20, 2024 for Avatar 4, and December 19, 2025 for Avatar 5. The films will be released in Dolby Vision.

New crew members include cinematographer Russell Carpenter, who worked with Cameron on True Lies and Titanic, and Aashrita Kamath, who will act as art director on all four sequels.[23][24][25] Kirk Krack, founder of Performance Freediving International, worked as a free-diving trainer for the cast and crew for the underwater scenes.[26]

Asked about the delays of the releases of the film and its sequels, Cameron stated:

I wouldn't call them delays. It was highly optimistic that we could start quickly until scripts are written. If there's 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. We're doing very well because of all the time that we had to develop the system and the pipeline and all that. We weren't wasting time, we were putting it into tech development and design. So when all the scripts were approved, everything was designed. Every character, every creature, every setting. In a funny way it was to the benefit of the film because the design team had more time to work.... Most of the actors, the key principals, have all read all four scripts, so they know exactly what their character arcs are, they know where they're going, they know how to modulate their arc now across the first two films.
―James Cameron

He was optimistic that the delays would not harm the films' success, comparing it to his films Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Aliens, which were both commercially successful sequels released seven years after the original films.[27] Several creatures introduced in Avatar Flight of Passage will be featured in the film.[28]

In May 2019, it was reported that the sequel's release dates had been pushed back as much as two years, thus the release of Avatar 2 had been pushed back to December 2021 while the three other sequels are due to be released respectively in December 2023, December 2025 and December 2027[29] as a result of the announcement of the three upcoming Star Wars films due to be released respectively on December 16, 2022, December 20, 2024 and December 18, 2026.[30] In August 2020, the release was pushed back again to December 16, 2022 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In total there have been eight delays to the theatrical release.

Principal photography started on September 25, 2017, simultaneously with Avatar 3.[31][32] As Sigourney Weaver later revealed in November, filming had to be moved around to allow her to film a cameo appearance in the series finale of Doc Martin.[33]

On April 27, 2022, it was revealed at CinemaCon that the official title for the film is Avatar: The Way of Water, and that the first teaser trailer will be played during the screenings of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, before releasing online the week after.[34]




  1. New Avatar 2 plot details offer a peek at the sequel’s story
  2. Rosenberg, Adam (August 7, 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: 'Avatar' Sequels Could Shoot Back-To-Back, Story Hints In Upcoming Novel", MTV. 
  3. "Update: Cameron Talks Avatar Blu-ray/DVD Releases and Sequel". Comingsoon.net (February 19, 2010).
  4. Day, Patrick Kevin (April 20, 2010). "James Cameron: The 'Avatar' sequel will dive into the oceans of Pandora", Los Angeles Times. 
  5. Harlow, John (September 12, 2010). "James Cameron commissions deep sea sub to film footage for Avatar sequel", The Australian. 
  6. "Cameron: New 'Avatar 2' Details". 
  7. Eric Ditzian (February 18, 2010). "James Cameron Says 'Everyone's Highly Motivated' For 'Avatar' Sequel", MTV. 
  8. Carolyn Giardina (March 30, 2011). "James Cameron 'Fully Intends' to Make 'Avatar 2 and 3' at Higher Frame Rates", The Hollywood Reporter. 
  9. Carolyn Giardina (March 30, 2011). "James Cameron 'Fully Intends' to Make 'Avatar 2 and 3' at Higher Frame Rates", The Hollywood Reporter. 
  10. "Three Avatar films to be made in New Zealand". New Zealand Government (December 16, 2013).
  11. Jared Larson (December 16, 2013). "Trilogy of Avatar Sequels to Be Made in New Zealand". IGN.
  12. Brian Gallagher (May 7, 2012). "James Cameron to Make Avatar 4 Instead of Battle Angel", MovieWeb. 
  13. Keegan, Rebecca (September 10, 2012). "James Cameron: 'Avatar' sequels 'a daunting writing task'".
  14. Brent Lang (January 14, 2015). "James Cameron Pushes Back 'Avatar' Sequels By a Year".
  15. "James Cameron Says 'Avatar' Sequel Delayed Until 2017" (January 14, 2015).
  16. Cunningham, Todd (January 21, 2016). "James Cameron's Avatar 2 Won't Be Ready for Christmas 2017 (Exclusive)". The Wrap.
  17. "Avatar 2". My Entertainment World.
  18. D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 14, 2016). "20th Century Fox CinemaCon: 'Avatar' Sequels, 'Deadpool 2', 'Greatest Showman On Earth' Updates, Vanilla Ice Raps, 'Assassin's Creed', 'Birth Of A Nation' & More". Deadline Hollywood.
  19. D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 14, 2016). "James Cameron Expands 'Avatar' Sequels To Four, Slams Screening Room & Gets Cheers From Exhibs- CinemaCon". Deadline Hollywood.
  20. Nordine, Michael (October 30, 2016). "James Cameron Pushing for 3D Advances and Higher Frame Rates for 'Avatar' Sequels", IndieWire. 
  21. Kelly, Stephen. "James Cameron on Terminator 2, Avatar and the future of cinema".
  22. Galuppo, Mia (March 10, 2017). "'Avatar 2' Won't Hit Theaters In 2018, James Cameron Says".
  23. "Russell Carpenter To Receive ASC Lifetime Achievement Award" (October 5, 2017).
  24. "Art Director Aashrita Kamath Talks About Working On 'Avatar' Sequels", Mid-day.com (October 29, 2017). 
  25. "Aashrita Kamath: Pushing the celluloid ceiling" (November 21, 2017). 
  26. "Upcoming Avatar 2 Movie Cast Being Trained To Freedive", Deeper Blue (December 1, 2017). 
  27. "James Cameron isn't worried about the gap between Avatar movies" (May 30, 2017).
  28. "Avatar Sequels Stay on Pandora, Will Include Theme Park Crossovers", MovieWeb (August 14, 2018). 
  29. "Disney Pushes 'Avatar' Sequels Release Dates as Much as 2 Years". TheWrap (May 7, 2019).
  30. "Three 'Star Wars' Films Added to Disney Release Slate Through 2026" (The titles follow the release of "Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker" this December) by Brian Welk". TheWrap (May 7, 2019).
  31. Tartaglione, Nancy (June 20, 2017). "'Avatar' Sequels Update: Production "Officially" Begins In September On Saga's Stand-Alones – CineEurope". Deadline Hollywood.
  32. Dumaraog, Ana (June 20, 2017). "Avatar Sequels Officially Begin Production in September". ScreenRant.
  33. "Celebrity News, TV Shows & Photos | OK! Magazine". ok.co.uk.
  34. Erik Davis on Twitter - April 27, 2022

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