When Avatar was released more than a decade ago, it became the highest grossing film ever made and the first to gross more than $2bn. The science-fiction masterpiece broke new ground in terms of what could be done on screen.
Following its immense success, a sequel was announced in 2010, but writer-director James Cameron was inclined to await advancements in filmmaking technology to truly bring his vision to life. Now, 13 years later, Avatar: The Way of Water is just days away from release.
The legendary Hollywood filmmaker – whose impressive CV boasts Titanic, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and Aliens – transports viewers back to Pandora for the second installment of his groundbreaking franchise. The film has run-time of three hours and 12 minutes, 30 minutes longer than its lengthy predecessor.
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But like Avatar, this long-awaited sequel promises to be a blockbusting spectacle of epic proportions. Here, we break down everything you need to know about Avatar: The Way of Water.
What is it about?
Avatar: The Way of Water rejoins former marine Jake Sully and his newfound family on the extrasolar moon Pandora. It explores 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.
At the end of the first film, all the humans from the Resources Development Administration (RDA) were expelled from Pandora. Now, more than a decade later, they are back to finish what they started.
Jake must work with Neytiri and the army of the Na’vi race – including the reef people clan of Metkayina – to protect their home.
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Who are the cast?
Sam Worthington is back as the once-paraplegic marine Jake Sully, who now lives purely in his avatar form as a member of the Na’vi clan on Pandora. By his side once again is Zoe Saldaña, who stars as Jake’s mate Neytiri, the daughter of the former clan chief.
Stephen Lang also returns as Colonel Miles Quaritch, the leader of the RDA’s military unit and main antagonist of the first film. Fans may wonder how the villainous colonel is back given his death at the end of Avatar – this time around, he appears in Na’vi form, his consciousness having been added to an avatar body to finish what he started and exact revenge, Empire reported.
Sigourney Weaver also returns, this time in a new role following the death of her character Dr. Grace Augustine in the first film. The Alien actress now stars as Jake and Neytiri’s adopted teenage daughter Kiri.
Giovanni Ribisi rejoins the cast as Parker Selfridge, the former corporate administrator for the RDA mining operation and one of the antagonists from the first film. Viewers may recognise Ribisi as Phoebe’s brother Frank Jr. in Friends or from his lead role in US crime thriller Sneaky Pete.
Rounding off the cast of returning stars is Joel David Moore, who reprises his role as Dr. Norm Spellman, a former member of the Avatar Program who joined Jake in siding with the Na’vi during the events of the first film. Moore previously starred in iconic 2004 comedy Dodgeball, in which he was a member of the Average Joe’s team of misfits.
Joining the ensemble cast is Kate Winslet in the motion-capture role of Ronal, a free diver of the oceanic Metkayina clan. The Oscar winner previously worked with Cameron on the 1997 epic Titanic and recently starred in Channel 4 drama I Am Ruth.
The Meg actor Cliff Curtis joins her as Ronal’s husband Tonowari, the leader of the Metkayina clan. Flight of the Conchords and What We Do in the Shadows star Jemaine Clement also joins the cast as marine biologist Dr. Ian Garvin.
American actress Edie Falco also stars in a new role. The Nurse Jackie actress and former TV wife of mobster Tony Soprano appears as General Frances Ardmore, the commander in charge of the RDA’s interests on Pandora.
When is Avatar: The Way of Water released in cinemas?
Avatar: The Way of Water is released in cinemas across the UK on Friday, December 16.
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