New footage of the “Avatar” sequel was finally revealed at CinemaCon on Wednesday afternoon.
Those in attendance were able to don 3D glasses and get their first look at Pandora as they watched the trailer for James Cameron’s “Avatar” sequel, officially titled “Avatar: The Way of Water.”
Producer Jon Landau revealed that the original “Avatar” film will be released in theaters on September 23 with restored picture and sound to generate excitement for the sequel. “We need to make sure [audiences] have an experience they can’t get anywhere else, and that needs to be exclusively in theaters,” he was quoted saying at the event.
James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ Will Be Getting A Total Of Four Sequels
As The Hollywood Reporter noted, each of the franchise’s four sequels will focus on the characters of Jake Sully, who is played by Sam Worthington, and Neytiri, who is played by Zoe Saldaña. Each is a standalone film that “together are an even greater connected epic saga.”
The trailer featured footage of Jake and Neytiri, along with cinematic shots of Pandora’s bright blue water. The Toruk flying creatures from the film were featured, as well as shots of the two swimming with new whale-like creatures.
Sigourney Weaver will return as Dr. Grace Augustine and Stephen Lang will return as Miles Quaritch. The sequel is about to add some serious star-power from “Titanic” actress Kate Winsley and “Fast and Furious” star Vin Diesel.
James Cameron is currently making the movie in New Zealand, but he delivered a video message saying, “We set out to push the limits to what cinema can do. He told cinema owners that they are “partners,” and added that “Jon and I are here with you. We can do this.”
‘Avatar’ Became The Top-Grossing Film Of All-Time In 2009
Although it failed to generate a significant pop culture impact years after its release, the 2009 original became the top-grossing film of all time, generating over $2.8 billion dollars. It was credited for bringing the latest advancements in 3D cinema to theaters.
THR reported that Cameron, Landau, Lightstorm Entertainment, along with 20th Century and Disney, are planning of offering the “Avatar” sequel in a variety of formats to fit multiple cinema chains. They plan to release different formats, such as 3D, 4D, and a high frame rate of 48 frames per second.
John Fithian, president and CEO of the National Association of Theater Owners, revealed that the “Avatar” sequel will have more versions than any movie “in the history of movies” when it arrives in theaters. “We are talking about high resolution, high frame rates, 3D, IMAX, PLF, different sound systems, and in 160 different languages,” he explained.
The visual effects for the movie are taking place at Weta FX in New Zealand, led by senior VFX supervisor and four-time Oscar winner Joe Letteri.
First ‘Avatar’ Sequel Was Supposed To Be Released In 2014
“He is working very closely with our members around the world to show his movie in the best possible way,” Fithian explained. “Jim is uniquely driven. He’s brilliant. There may be only a couple of hundred screens in [some of the formats] but he wants [Avatar 2] on those screens. It’s time to make sure your light levels are correct and everything about the picture is correct. We’re excited about it.”
Before “Avatar” was released in 2009, Cameron had created more than 100 versions of the film in different light levels, 2D and 3D formatting, as well as different resolutions and sound systems. It was reportedly the most ambitious digital release at the time.
In 2010, Cameron had announced two sequels that he planned to release in 2014 and 2015. Unfortunately, audiences have had to wait a bit longer than expected to finally see the sequel to “Avatar” and see what everyone is up to on Pandora.
The sequel, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” is expected to be released in theaters on December 16, 2022.