Thirteen years after Avatar became the highest-grossing film of all time, James Cameron has finally dropped a trailer for its sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water set to land in cinemas on December 16th 2022. In the new footage, we get a fresh glimpse of Pandora, a world that answers the question: what if Sam Worthington was taller, bluer, had a tail, and yet was no less wooden?
The trailer doesn’t give much away plot-wise, starting with a reintroduction to Worthington’s Jake Sully, who’s been busy in the years since the last instalment – he now has a child with his Avatar love interest, Zoe Saldana’s Neytiri, and the couple may have adopted a human boy into their family as well.
The cinematography is as epic and sweeping as you’d expect and the CGI environments all look perfectly lush, although, with only momentary appearances from non-alien characters in the footage, it’s hard not to see this as an animated film, rather than live-action.
A great deal of fuss has been made about the new technology Cameron developed to shoot the water scenes for his return to Pandora. While it’s hard to gauge from the trailer just what sets this CGI water apart from what we saw years ago in the likes of Finding Nemo and many blockbusters since, it is undeniably beautiful. And you’d want it to be for the money the studio spent, with the film’s budget reaching around US$250 million.
While it seems the glasses-free 3D technology Cameron is rumoured to be developing will not make an appearance this time around, there’s still Avatar 3, 4 and 5 to look forward to. Cameron is currently shooting these sequels back to back to back, with the fifth instalment scheduled for release in 2028, so he clearly doesn’t feel the need for much variety in his working life.
Despite this, as the director responsible for some of the biggest films of all time – Terminator 2, Aliens and Titanic to name a few – there’s little doubt audiences will be queuing up for Cameron’s latest when Avatar: The Way of Water hits cinemas on December 16, 2022.
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