Avatar: The Way of Water – Release Date, Cast, Plot, and More

Here's what we know on what could be the most expensive movie ever made.

by J.R. Waugh

Avatar dazzled theater audiences worldwide 13 years ago when it obliterated box office records and became the highest-grossing movie of all time. Now director James Cameron wants to put another feather in his cap by making a few billion more starting with Avatar: The Way of Water, the direct sequel with an even more ambitious scope as well as a huge production budget. While we will be seeing some familiar faces as well as new ones, the film promises a change in setting, and a potential 5-film arc spanning the Avatar series beyond the release of the original and The Way of Water, here’s what we know.

Avatar: The Way of Water | Release Date

Avatar: The Way of Water will release worldwide in theaters on Friday, December 16, 2022, along with many locations having a preview night on Thursday, December 15, 2022. The Way of Water was originally conceived and teased in 2010 with hopes for a 2014 release. Director James Cameron, however, always being the innovator he is, had to take extra time to allow technology to catch up with his ambitions for filming motion capture underwater, a feat that had not yet been achieved. The film’s 3-year filming began in 2017 and concluded in 2020, and after numerous delays, the movie finally releases in time for the holidays.

Avatar: The Way of Water | Cast, and Plot

Much of the original Avatar cast will return, although some returning cast, such as Sigourney Weaver, will play different roles this time around, in her case being Kiri, Sully and Neytiri’s adopted daughter. Additionally, new characters and some formidable talent from the big and small screens will appear in this sequel, but feel free to check the cast list below:

  • Sam Worthington as Jake Sully
  • Zoe Saldaña as Neytiri
  • Cliff Curtis as Tonowari
  • Kate Winslet as Ronal
  • Sigourney Weaver as Kiri
  • Stephen Lang as Col. Miles Quaritch
  • Giovanni Ribisi as Parker Selfridge
  • Edie Falco as General Frances Ardmore
  • Jemaine Clement as Dr. Ian Garvin
  • CCH Pounder as Mo’at
  • Jamie Flatters as Neteyam
  • Jack Champion as Spider
  • Joel David Moore as Norm Spellman
  • Britain Dalton as Lo’ak
  • Chloe Coleman as Young Lo’ak
  • Matt Gerald as Cpl. Lyle Wainfleet
  • Trinity Jo-Li Bliss as Tuktirey
  • Keston John as Va’ru
  • Filip Geljo as Aonung
  • Brendan Cowell as Mick Scoresby
  • Duane Evans Jr. as Rotxo
  • CJ Jones as Metkayina Interpreter
  • Jeremy Irwin as Young Neteyam
  • Scarlett Fernandez, Johnny Alexander, Jake McLean, Ben Antoine, and Amanda MacLeod are cast in additional roles.

The cast has quite a few familiar faces too, perhaps most notably Stephen Lang. Apparently, his character, despite his apparent demise in the first Avatar, will have a significant arc over the franchise if it goes through with the 5-film saga plans. Additional talent includes Kate Winslet, Jemaine Clement, and Edie Falco for those who appreciate a broad variety of previous Cameron collaborators, darlings of prestige television, and comedy stars.

Avatar: The Way of Water takes place more than a decade after the events of 2009’s Avatar, chronicling Jake Sully’s life after he permanently embraced his new identity among the Na’vi race. He has built a family and has to fight to protect them and his people, while old enemies surface for revenge and entire new locales come into play. One particular group is the reef-dwelling, aquatic Na’vi clan known as the Metkayina, to whom Winslet and Curtis’ characters belong as leaders and free-divers among their people. Many of the cast had to learn free-diving and motion/performance capture for the film.

Avatar: The Way of Water will release worldwide exclusively in theaters on December 16, 2022.

- This article was updated on November 23rd, 2022

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