But with a movie as big as the first planned ‘Avatar’ sequel, you knew that Disney’s 20th Century Studios would be pulling out all the stops, and director James Cameron would invent some new stops to pull out.
And as part of ‘Avatar Day’, the company has released a new look at the sequel.
Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure on the moon known as Pandora, home to the Na’vi, the native population who are deeply connected to the land, flora and fauna of their home.
We will meet a whole new tribe of Na’vi this time, who call the oceans their home. It’s to these fellow Na’vi that Jake and Neytiri turn to for help.
Old friends and old foes will be back, including Joel David Moore’s friendly Norm Spellman and Giovanni Ribisi’s corporate stooge Parker Selfridge. Also returning? Sigourney Weaver (switching roles following the death of Dr. Grace Augustine to play Kiri, the adopted teenage daughter of Jake and Neytiri), and Stephen Lang, who is back as the hardass antagonist Colonel Miles Quaritch, revived through use of a creature known as a Recombinant.
This latest glimpse of the film is typically visually impressive. Cameron, no slouch in looking to offer something audiences haven’t seen before, has once again upped his game in terms of computer graphics and character/landscape creation.
The original ‘Avatar’ did come under fire for its simplistic story, so with a writing team on board going forward, perhaps even that will be answered in the new movie. Narrative-wise, it certainly looks like there’s some tension and rivalry between the two tribes, even as Curtis’ Tonowari, the leader of the Metkayina clan, tells his family to accept Jake and co.
But frosty relations certainly seem to cool as it appears that one of the family ends up falling for a member of the Metkayina – ‘Avatar’ fans will know that the phrase “I see you” is usually a prelude to romance…
And all this, of course, is just the first sequel – Cameron and co. are still hard at work on three sequels. This movie will be followed by the third on December 20, 2024, the fourth on December 18, 2026, and the fifth on December 22, 2028.
‘The Way of Water’, meanwhile, will be arriving in theaters on December 16th.