Avatar 2: Everything you need to know

Photo credit: 20th Century Studios

Avatar 2 is still a long way off, but returning star Stephen Lang has been assuring fans that it'll be worth the extended wait.

“I think they'll be enchanted and fascinated. Look, there are people who are going to just adore this world,” he told EW in August 2021, adding that he can't say anything about the sequel as they'll “cut my balls off if I do”.

Fair enough. But while Lang isn't talking, that doesn't mean we're completely starved of any Avatar 2 details.

The sequel has been hit with various release date delays, but the latest was due to circumstances beyond its control. With post-production being affected by the ongoing global situation, the movie was pushed back to December 2022.

Photo credit: 20th Century Studios

It hasn't been delayed since (yet), so let's remain hopeful that Avatar 2 will finally land in cinemas in December 2022, kickstarting a succession of sequels every other year until Avatar 5 in December 2028.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves too much yet and concentrate on Avatar 2 for now. Here's everything you need to know about the long-delayed sequel to James Cameron's blockbuster.

Avatar 2 release date: When will Avatar 2 be out cinemas?

To cut a long story short, Avatar 2 is finally going to be released on December 16, 2022, having been pushed back from December 2021 due to the ongoing global health crisis.

Production got back under way in early June in New Zealand (not without controversy though). In September 2020, Cameron revealed that they were “100% complete” on Avatar 2 and around 95% finished on Avatar 3.

That was just in terms of the live-action filming as the sequel, like the original, will have a lot of virtual production and visual effects work to be done.

Avatar 2 – Why has it taken so long?

If you want the full story of the sequel's long and drawn-out journey to the screen, here goes. Looking back on it, it seems almost absurd that Avatar 2 was scheduled for release in December 2014, and Avatar 3 was scheduled for December 2015.

After delays filming was meant to start on Avatar 2 in April 2016, but April came and went, and filming never began. In January the following year, it was announced that work on the motion-capture element of the film would start by August 2017, but it actually began in September.

The announcement of a fourth Avatar movie pushed the whole lot back, and then they were all pushed back again, with Avatar 2 planned for December 2017 (and the rest set for 2018 and 2019 presumably). James Cameron blamed the “very involved” writing process for the delays.

Photo credit: WETA – 20th Century Studios

Next, in January 2017, Avatar 2 was delayed again, the assumption being that it ran scared after Star Wars: The Last Jedi moved from May to December 2017.

The sequel was then set for a December 2020 release before Disney shifted it again to December 2021, after completing the takeover of Fox, and that brings us right up to the latest delay.

Through it all though, Cameron has been completely chilled out about any delays. “It was a seven-year gap between The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, seven-year gap between Alien and Aliens,” he said.

Well, there you have it.

Photo credit: Getty Images

Avatar sequel titles: What will Avatar 2 be called?

While we've been calling them Avatar 2, Avatar 3 and so on, there hasn't been any official confirmation on what they will be called.

However, the BBC reported (way back in November 2018) that the films could be called Avatar: The Way of Water, Avatar: The Seed Bearer, Avatar: The Tulkun Rider and Avatar: The Quest for Eywa.

Cameron later confirmed these are potential titles, but could be subject to change.

Avatar 2 cast: Who will return to Avatar 2?

The core cast of the original Avatar are all on contract, so Cameron's stars will be back in when it finally hits.

Zoe Saldana will reprise the role of the Na'vi princess Neytiri, with Sam Worthington also returning as the human-turned-Na'vi, Jake Sully.

Photo credit: Fox

Stephen Lang is back as the dead Colonel Miles Quaritch, and he's going to be the main villain of the four movies. He said that he'll be able to “really go to town and examine the character in detail” in the sequel (via The National).

James Cameron explained: “I'm not going to say exactly HOW we're bringing him back, but it's a science fiction story, after all”

Photo credit: Jon Kopaloff – Getty Images

Sci-fi goddess Sigourney Weaver will also be back as a wholly new character, saying: “Having read all four of [the Avatar scripts], I think they're absolutely extraordinary and worth the wait.”

Photo credit: @officialavatar – Twitter

Kate Winslet is playing the role of Ronal in all the Avatar sequels, marking hers and James Cameron's first collaboration since the 1997 blockbuster Titanic.

CCH Pounder will also reprise her role Neytiri's mum Mo'at, and Matt Gerald is back as Corporal Lyle Wainfleet. Game of Thrones' Oona Chaplin and Fear the Walking Dead's Cliff Curtis will be joining the sequels, and Edie Falco (The Sopranos, Nurse Jackie) is playing the new character General Ardmore.

Meanwhile, EW revealed some of the supporting actors who'll be playing Sully's family, as well as some children from another Na'vi clan called the Metkayina, who'll be lead by Cliff Curtis. These include Britain Dalton, Filip Geljo, Jamie Flatters, Bailey Bass, Trinity Bliss, Jack Champion, and Duane Evans Jr.

Marvel's Michelle Yeoh has also joined the cast as scientist Dr Karina Mogue and we got our first look at her in action on set in March 2021. The caption hinted that she'll be in Avatar 3 as well, so expect her to play a significant role in the upcoming movies.

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Fast & Furious star Vin Diesel has added another franchise to his CV too as he's joined the sequels, alongside Jemaine Clement as marine biologist Dr Ian Garvin, described by Cameron as “one of my favourite characters”.

There was some initial confusion about the inclusion of Harry Potter's David Thewlis to the sequel. It turns out he'll be in Avatar 3 (and 4 and 5) but not the second film.

Avatar 2 plot: What will Avatar 2 be about?

Cameron has teased some details of the plot of Avatar 2 in the years since the first movie, which will deal with 'familial and imprisonment' themes.

Producer Jon Landau has also explained that each movie (if all four sequels happen, that is) will stand on their own. You don't even need to have seen Avatar to enjoy the sequel apparently.

Photo credit: Fox

Set several years after the events of Avatar, Sully is now chieftain and Neytiri high priestess of their clan – although events will apparently focus on their children.

We hear they'll also be journeying beyond the forests of Pandora into underwater and volcanic environments that Cameron promises will make “you shit yourself with your mouth wide open”. That's supposed to be a good thing, we think…

To really capture the importance of water, Avatar 2 will film its motion capture scenes underwater.

Photo credit: @officialavatar – Twitter

Though technological feats are clearly integral to the movie, Landau said of the four sequels: “At the heart of any movie are the characters. One of the strengths of great scripts are always the universal and relatable themes… There's no more relatable theme than family.”

There will also be a time jump between the first movie and Avatar 2 as Cameron has confirmed Jake and Neytiri have an 8-year-old daughter together. He also teased that Worthington had to go to “some dark places” for Avatar 2 and 3.

We also know there's been a bespoke sign language created for the movie by Baby Driver's CJ Jones, a deaf actor who's been hired to create a “new Na'vi sign language”. As to the movies' appearance, Cameron promises that they will be so advanced you “just won't be able to imagine” what they're going to look like.

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Avatar 2 trailer: When will the Avatar 2 trailer be out online?

Alas, so far we have no official trailer. However, there are a load of fan-made trailers if you need something to tide you over until Avatar 2 hits.

Cameron has been realistic about the probability of seeing the next four Avatar movies – it all depends on how Avatar 2 does at the box office. But Cameron did promise Avatar 3 in 2024 if Avatar 2 is a success.

Avatar 2 will be released on December 16, 2022.

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