Each of the four Avatar sequels — the first, The Way of Water, is scheduled for a Dec. 16 release — will center on returning Jake Sully, played by Sam Worthington, and Na’vi Neytiri, played by Zoe Saldaña, and their family, and the lengths they go to keep each other safe.
The stunning teaser for 20th Century’s The Way of Water is set more than a decade after the events of the first film, introducing dazzling footage that includes gorgeous shots of Pandora’s bright blue water — both above and below the surface; Toruk, the flying creatures introduced in the first film; and new whale-like creatures.
Returning stars also include Sigourney Weaver as Dr. Grace Augustine and Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch, and big-name newcomers include Vin Diesel and Cameron’s Titanic star Kate Winslet. Behind-the-scenes talent includes director of photography Russell Carpenter, Cameron’s Oscar-winning Titanic DP. Avatar’s visual effects are back at Weta FX in New Zealand, again led by senior VFX supervisor and four-time Oscar winner Joe Letteri.
Released in 2009, Cameron’s Avatar is the top-grossing film of all-time at the worldwide box office, with $2.84 billion. It was also credited with helping to usher in the digital 3D era and introducing new production tools and techniques in areas such as performance capture and virtual production.
The Way of Water teaser trailer was previewed in 3D last week in the Caesars Palace’s Colosseum during theatre owners confab CinemaCon. During that presentation, producer Jon Landau additionally announced plans to re-release the original Avatar on Sept. 23 in theaters, with restored picture and sound. “We need to make sure [audiences] have an experience they can’t get anywhere else, and that needs to be exclusively in theaters,” he said.
Cameron, Landau and their Lightstorm Entertainment, along with 20th Century and Disney, is expected to offer The Way of Water in a wide variety of formats to support the range of theater installations, including the use of 3D, 4K and a high frame rate of 48 frames per second.
Watch the trailer below
Sam Worthington’s Avatar Q&A