Just five movies have ever made $2 billion at the global box office, and the absurd success of these films has obviously resulted in speedy sequels aimed at replicating their boffo performance. However, there have been a couple of exceptions, both written and directed by James Cameron. While 1997’s mega-hit Titanic didn’t warrant a follow-up to its story of the titular doomed ship, its box office dethroner Avatar from 2009 definitely did. The epic adventure through Pandora may have seemed like a complete saga in its own right, but in other regards, it had opened up a wide world of CGI and motion capture mastery that millions of theatergoers couldn’t wait to return to.
Today, after over a decade of waiting, the first trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water has finally debuted and, no, you’re not dreaming. When we last left Pandora, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a human, had just permanently transferred his mind into his Na’vi avatar on Pandora after falling in love with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), the heir apparent of the Omaticaya tribe. Judging by the brief teaser, it’s hard to tell what exactly the plot will entail in this forthcoming film, but 20th Century Studios has maintained that it will take place a decade after the events of the first movie and will follow the family of Sully and Neytiri.
The first Avatar has enjoyed fairly sustained popularity over the past 13 years, still holding the all-time box office gross record worldwide after briefly losing the title to Avengers: Endgame. Mentions of a sequel from Cameron himself have been going on long before even its initial release in 2009. Although, the tech for underwater motion capture still had to be developed. Of course, compiling a masterpiece was no easy task for Cameron, who’s made mentioned that he had to wait over a decade before filmmaking technology could catch up to the original idea that he had for the first film back in his 1994 treatment. So when it came to doing it all a second, third, fourth, or even fifth time, it’s understandable why one would be apt to wait, technology or not.
After a total of eight delays (thus far), the theatrical release for Avatar: The Way of Water is finally set for December 16th of this year, with its three sequels expected to release every two years following.