It’s been a longer time in real years since the first Avatar (2009) than the 10-year time jump between the events of the first film and the long-awaited sequel, James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water.
Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana return as Jake Sully and Neytiri along with Stephen Lang’s villainous Colonel Quaritch, brought back to life via Na’vi avatar form, to wage another war on Pandora. In the fight this time are Jake and Neytiri’s young children Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), Lo’ak (Britain Dalton), Tuktirey (Trinity Bliss) and Kiri (Sigourney Weaver, back in a new role and a pre-teen form). The cast also includes include Academy Award winner Kate Winslet, Michelle Yeoh, Cliff Curtis, Joel David Moore, Emmy Award winner Edie Falco and Jemaine Clement.
The first film, also directed by Cameron, became the highest grossing movie ever at the time domestically (it’s now fourth, behind 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, 2019’s Avengers: Endgame and 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home) and remains the top grossing film ever worldwide, at more than $2.9B. It was nominated for 9 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, winning three: cinematography, production design and visual effects.
Avatar: The Way of Water opens only in theaters on December 16 from 20th Century Studios.