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Director James Cameron has shared photos from the upcoming Avatar sequels for a recently-published Entertainment Weekly interview. As Avatars 2, 3, 4, and 5 are all on their way--and together they cost $1 billion to produce--this is our first look at what $250 million on the screen in a single sequel looks like.
In one of the newly-released photos, Cameron stands next to Edie Falco's General Ardmore in the flight deck of a dragon gunship from the first movie. The photos also offer a look at the sequel's ambitious underwater performance capture scenes. Check out the new photos from Avatar 2 below.
By September 2020, Avatar 2 wrapped filming, and filming is reportedly coming to a close on Avatar 3 now. These and the upcoming sequels subsequently all endured considerable delays both due to the pandemic and also because the the films required "years of technological research and months of training actors to hold their breath for lengths that would impress even a Navy SEAL."
For what it's worth, Cameron sees these sequels as a massive gamble only made possible because Avatar "made so much damn money… it's kind of crazy." Added Cameron in the profile, "Big, expensive films have got to make a lot of money. We're in a new world post-COVID, post-streaming. Maybe those [box office] numbers will never be seen again. Who knows? It's all a big roll of the dice."
Avatar 2 is expected to be in theaters on December 16, 2022.
Avengers: Endgame might currently stand as the biggest movie all time, but it took an entire decade for the previous holder of that record to be toppled. James Cameron's Avatar hit theaters in December 2009 and proceeded to smash box office records, bringing in a total of $2.7 billion worldwide. It was both a technological groundbreaker and a cultural phenomenon, and soon after, Cameron started talking about his plans for not one but several sequels.
But a decade later, the first Avatar sequel is yet to be released. The film's release date has been pushed back several times, and although it has had a set date for a while now, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the future release of all movies fairly uncertain, so there's a chance it might get moved again.
Nevertheless, more Avatar is definitely on the way, and while there's plenty of mystery about the movies, we do know quite a bit in terms of the cast and the setting. So here's everything we know to date about the Avatar sequels.
Originally, Avatar 2 was going to arrive in 2018. That didn't pan out, and the movie was pushed back to December 2020. Back in May last year, Avatar 2 was pushed back--yet again--releasing now on December 17, 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many movies due over the next 18 months to be delayed, but that date hasn't changed. Yet.
As for the sequels, here are their release dates:
Production on the first Avatar sequel started back in the summer 2017. Principal photography on the live-action footage officially wrapped in November 2019, and since then a number of behind-the-scenes images have been released. Last year we got a look at the Sea Dragon, which the official Avatar Twitter account described as "a massive mothership that carries an array of other sea-going craft." More recently, some images of the actors in a giant pool filled with light-reflecting balls were revealed.
The sequel to Avatar will take place years after the first movie, and according to star Sam Worthington, the movie will emphasize family over anything else. "This is going to be Jake [Sully, Worthington's character] eight years later, and he's got a family now," he said. "The world is bigger than the first one, but essentially, it's a movie about family."
Cameron has also stated that the film will explore the vast oceans of Pandora, and much of it will be set in the sea. Cameron has spent "thousands of hours" underwater making documentaries, and aims to bring a sense of realism to the aquatic footage in Avatar 2 "I'm very literal about my underwater," he told Yahoo. "It needs to look like it's real."
Whether they lived or died in Avatar 1, there are a few people returning for the sequels. Because it's a sci-fi movie, there are plenty of ways for the deceased to come back to life. Here's who we know is returning to the land of Pandora.
The next movie won't entirely focus on people you've already seen in the first film. One big addition to the cast is Kate Winslet, who hasn't worked with director James Cameron since Titanic. Much like many new cast members, not a lot is known about who she is portraying, aside from her name. There are also several new actors do not have their character's names revealed just yet. And there's plenty of younger actors cast for the sequels, as the movie will also focus on younger Na'vi--including Sully's children.
There is not a lot confirmed for the sequels after Avatar 2. So far, all that's known is that Michelle Yeoh's character Dr. Karina Mogue will appear in Avatar 3.
While we're yet to see any official images or footage from the Avatar sequel, some concept art was revealed earlier this year. The images were unveiled by Cameron at the tech trade show CES in Las Vegas in January, and provided a spectacular look at the film's ocean setting.
When a movie revolves around the idea of "family," you need to have the star of the Fast and the Furious franchise in it, right? Well, rumor has it that Vin Diesel is doing a voice for Avatar 2. Back in April, Diesel visited the set for Avatar and did an Instagram video with director James Cameron. This led to a lot of speculation as to whether or not he'd appear in the film. Nothing has been confirmed as of this writing. Does street racing exist on Pandora?
The craziest thing about all these Avatar sequels is that James Cameron said "If Avatar 2 and 3 don't make enough money, there's not going to be a 4 and 5." Even though the sequels are filming back-to-back, there is a chance they may never see the light of day.