After nearly 13 years since the first installment, the sequel to the Avatar franchise will finally hit the box office. Not only has an official release date for Avatar 2 been announced, but first looks at concept art and the storyline have also been revealed.
Following the success of the first Avatar film, James Cameron, the director of the previous box office record holder, announced plans for not one, but four more films in the franchise. 13 years is a long time to wait for a sequel, but even the best-laid plans go awry. The Avatar sequel was originally slated for release in 2014 but became delayed due to a variety of factors. In more recent times, the project has been pushed back as it proved vulnerable to COVID-19, being just one of many productions impacted in the entertainment industry by the pandemic.
New plans were made to release the sequel in Dec. 2021, with the rest following every two years until 2027, but the arrival of new COVID variants made it virtually impossible for people to enjoy films in the theaters safely. The date has now been officially set for Dec. 16, 2022, and the release schedule for the following films will continue to be every two years until 2028.
In an interview with Variety, Cameron explained how production has progressed after beginning in 2017 and after being stalled for an additional four months during the start of the pandemic in 2020. “We’re 100 percent complete on Avatar 2 and we’re sort of 95 percent complete with Avatar 3,” he said, then explaining that they will then continue with the fourth and fifth chapters.
Twitter users realized that the science-fiction sequel would be sharing a release date with another highly anticipated film coming from the DC Comics franchise, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Users debated which film they would see first, if at all, while others expressed excitement for Avatar 2 and predict it will be a box office success like the first.
In terms of plot, Cameron says the sequel can stand alone, and viewers who have not seen the 2009 original will be able to enjoy its themes. Express shares that Avatar 2 “will be set 14 years after the events of the first film, with Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) now the leaders of their clan. The story will instead focus on their children and the next generation of Pandora.” Sigourney Weaver is said to be returning to the cast in a brand-new role despite her character dying at the end of the first film. A new addition to the cast is Kate Winslet, who has worked with Cameron previously for Titanic (1997).
The official Avatar Twitter page also shared new concept art for the film, which is heavily reliant on both live-action and CGI elements. With the exploration of vast new planets and oceans, fans will be able to see new sides of the fictional planet of Pandora.
Keep your calendars open for the release of Avatar 2 on Dec.16, 2022.