Avatar: The Way of Water: first trailer for blockbuster sequel released
The first trailer for James Cameron’s much-anticipated and much-delayed sequel to Avatar has been released.
Avatar: The Way of Water will bring back stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver to continue the story of the Na’vi, a race of extraterrestrial humanoids under attack from humans. New cast members include Kate Winslet, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement and Edie Falco.
The film will take place predominantly in the ocean, with new technology created to master performance-capture underwater.
The original was a cultural and commercial phenomenon on release in 2009, winning three Oscars and becoming the biggest global box office hit of all time, making over $2.8bn.
The sequel has been in development ever since and started production in 2017 with the third film being made at the same time. The next two instalments are then set to go into production once post-production on the third film has completed.
The strategy poses a huge financial risk to backers Disney with each sequel carrying an estimated $250m budget.
“The big issue is: are we going to make any damn money?” Cameron said to Entertainment Weekly last year. “Big, expensive films have got to make a lot of money. We’re in a new world post-Covid, post-streaming. Maybe those [box office] numbers will never be seen again. Who knows? It’s all a big roll of the dice.”
Winslet, who will be reuniting with Cameron for the first time since Titanic, has already gained viral attention for reportedly holding her breath for seven minutes underwater. “When Jim asked me if I would do the films with him, I asked him to describe the character,” she said to Variety.
“He said, “Well, she’s basically the female leader of a water tribe. And I immediately said, “YES! YES!” I’m happy with anything to do with water. Then to discover that I had an opportunity to learn how to free dive and breath-hold to play the role. It was incredible. So I trained for about a month and was able to really hold my breath for a very long time.”
Avatar: The Way of Water will be released in December.