When Does Avatar: The Way of Water Take Place?

Do you need to have watched the first Avatar?

by J.R. Waugh

Avatar: The Way of Water is coming in hot as the big blockbuster event to close out 2022. The movie, a sequel to the events of 2009’s Avatar, is an ambitious outing by James Cameron using new filming techniques and a massive production budget. The movie aims to rank among the all-time highest-grossing films ever made, of which Avatar is the top coming in at $2.923 billion. But does The Way of Water take place directly after the events of Avatar, or just feature the same world?

What Year Does Avatar: The Way of Water Take Place?

The events of Avatar: The Way of Water take place approximately around the year 2169, about 15 years after the events of 2009’s Avatar. This would be fitting, given the 13-year wait, we were given between the release of Avatar and The Way of Water’s December 16, 2022 release date. The Way of Water sees Jake Sully having fully embraced his life among the Na’vi, raising a family while protecting them from danger, including old foes and other factors who could inflict tragedy on our heroes. It features the return of several cast, including Col. Miles Quaritch who is poised to be the franchise’s main villain.

But it’s an ambitious visual undertaking, bringing us to new biomes yet unseen in the Avatar universe, with new clans of the Na’vi encountered and breathtaking underwater visual effects, performance capture, and motion capture on full display. The original Avatar’s exemplary 3D still holds up today, having a strong re-release recently in American cinemas along with new bells and whistles including High Frame-Rate (HFR.) When The Way of Water comes out, we’ll see what place it takes among the pantheon of big-budget films vying for box office dominance.

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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