Avatar: The Way of Water is proud of its heritage. The long-awaited sequel to James Cameron’s epic arrives 12 years after the original broke box office records and led the Oscar nominations that year. The first trailer for Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness will be released later this week, ahead of the film’s theatrical release.
Cameron and company are preoccupied with familial themes, as evidenced by an advance screening of the 3-D trailer in New York. The trailer, set to Simon Franglen’s sweeping score, is largely dialogue-free, allowing the lush visuals—mostly set underwater and in the tropics—to take centre stage. The one line delivered via voiceover, on the other hand, is telling. “I know one thing, wherever we go, this family is our fortress,” the voice says as a pregnant Na’vi appears on the screen.
The trailer doesn’t reveal much, but you’ll see some typically beautiful landscapes, new and old creatures, evidence of a human military presence, and a young human child among the Na’vi. It also places a strong emphasis on water, displaying some spectacular underwater sequences and creatures.
Avatar: The Way of Water is the first of four sequels to the massively successful 2009 film. Actors Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi, and Stephen Lang are all returning for a third instalment (though you won’t see any of the human performances in the trailer), and newcomers Michelle Yeoh, Kate Winslet, Jermaine Clement, and Edie Falco, some of whom are signed for multiple sequels, are also expected.
This is largely consistent with Cameron’s comments about Avatar: The Way of Water, which wrapped filming in September 2020. (Shooting on Avatar 3, set for release in 2024, is also said to be finished.) According to Entertainment Weekly, the sequel follows Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and their children in a story set about ten years after the first. The majority of the action will take place in Metkayina’s newly introduced reef region. The location was described by producer Jon Landau to EW as “Bora Bora on steroids.”
Avatar: The Way of Water is set to hit theatres in December 2022, with sequels following every two years until 2028.