New Trailer Shows First Look at Avatar Sequel 13 Years in the Making

Audiences first discovered the unbelievable world of Pandora created by director, screenwriter, producer, and co-editor James Cameron in 2009, following the release of Disney’s Avatar. The film had gone on to become the highest grossing film of all time before being bumped down to second after the release of Avengers: Endgame in 2019. The groundbreaking cinematography and use of computer-generated images, or CGI, initially drew massive attention. Though the use of CGI has become significantly more apparent in films released in the decade since Avatar, the creation of a brand-new world and the characters of the Na’vi themselves was ahead of its time, to say the least. Even those who have not seen the classic film know about the “blue people,” despite knowing minimal other information. 

Following Avatar’s historical success, audiences have long awaited the second installment after the announcement of four more films from the Avatar franchise back in 2016. On May 9th, at approximately 10:00 am EST, the first teaser trailer for the sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, dropped on YouTube, receiving over 10 million views in one day. While audiences may have been curious as to why the sequel took over a decade to begin marketing, the visuals in the trailer are sure to be the answer. Crystal clear waters with a flood of brand new creatures and characters dominate the astonishing trailer while still maintaining a similar feel of the original. The use of any one instance of dialogue, “I know one thing: Wherever we go, this family is our fortress,” could be a sentiment from Cameron to simply appreciate the visual beauty of the new film. 

Avatar: The Way of Water stars original cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis, and Joel David Moore, with new cast members surely to join. The film is set over a decade after the events of the first film, and follows the Sully family, which includes Jake, Neytiri, and their children. According to the official Avatar YouTube channel, the family will face, “the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.” 

Though the beauty of the trailer is awe-inspiring, it still lacks sufficient clarity as to why it took so long to create. Cameron blames this delay on the pressures of the pre-production process, no doubt with the stress of following up one of the most successful films of all time. But the writing process was not the only delay. Cameron allegedly was dissatisfied with the technological developments of motion capture in water and lacked the proper equipment. Also, pushing back the release of TWOW was due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic stalling the conclusion of filming. And yet, despite countless delays, the film is set to premiere on December 16, 2022, and Cameron has also announced that filming on the third installment was concluded in tandem with the second and will have a similar release date in 2023. Updates on the fourth and fifth films have remained few and far in between. 

After nearly a decade and a half, the world is bouncing right back into James Cameron’s beautiful world of Pandora as if they never left. Though the journey to uncover the new addition to the Avatar franchise has seen many delays and doubts of its finally coming to fruition, the new trailer leaves hope that the succeeding film can compete with its original counterpart, and is sure to draw incredible crowds when it hits theaters this December.