After 13 years Avatar returns to theaters with ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’


Photo by Sasha Sampaio

“Avatar: The Way of Water” was released Dec. 16, 13 years after the first Avatar movie.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” is a PG-13, sci-fi, adventure, action, fantasy film, released in theaters on Dec. 16, and the sequel to “Avatar” (2009) as the second film in the “Avatar” franchise.

The three hour and 12 minute film was directed by James Cameron and distributed by 20th Century Studios. The film was produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau and was written by James Cameron, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver.

The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the filming of the movie and “Avatar: The Way of Water” was delayed one final time to Dec. 16, when it would finally be released 13 years after the first movie.

The movie is about Jake Sully and Neytiri’s new family, who are doing everything to stay together. There is a water-based Na’vi Tribeon and they are exploring the extrasolar moon, Pandora. Once a familiar threat returns to finish what was previously started, Jake must work with Neytiri and the army of the Na’vi race to protect their home and fight a difficult war against the humans.

Cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Giovanni Ribisi, Dileep Rao, and Matt Gerald reprise their roles from the original film, with Sigourney Weaver returns in a different role.

New cast members include Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco and Jemaine Clement. In the film, Jake Sully (Worthington) and his family explore the oceans of Pandora to meet the Metkayina clan.

Cameron stated in 2006 that he would like to make sequels to Avatar if it was successful, and announced the first two sequels in 2010, following the widespread success of the first film, with “The Way of Water” aiming for a 2014 release.

However, the addition of three more sequels, for a total of five Avatar films, and the necessity to develop new technology in order to film scenes underwater, a feat never accomplished before, led to significant delays to allow the crew more time to work on the writing, preproduction, and visual effects.

With an estimated budget of $350–460 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made.

Senior Shelby Parsons recently watched the film, the day it came to theaters. “I loved the first ‘Avavtar,’ it was one of my favorite movies, so when the second one came out I knew I had to watch it right away,” Parsons said.

Parsons thought the film was good, maybe even better than the first one. “The actors did a great job of showing variations in expressions and emotions and there were amazing graphics,” Parsons said.

Senior Nick Kim agreed with Parsons and thought the film was overall well done. “I really liked the movie but the first one was definitely better,” Kim said.

Senior Allie Museles watched the movie in 3D and she said that made the experience visually stunning and astonishing. “Everything feels so personal since it centers around the life of the Sully family and I really enjoyed how in 3D everything popped out at me and felt much more real. I felt like I was in the movie,” Museles said.