Avatar: James Cameron Explains The Way of Water's Massive Run Time

While the original Avatar was already a relatively sprawling affair, the upcoming Avatar: The Way of Water is seemingly an even more enriched and layered experience, with a run time of more than three hours. Given that the first film laid the groundwork for the entire franchise, while also balancing character development with spectacle, director James Cameron recently detailed that this follow-up will be diving much deeper into the characters of the narrative, allowing for an even richer experience. Whether that character exploration is what fans are more interested in will be determined when Avatar: The Way of Water lands in theaters on December 16th.

"The goal is to tell an extremely compelling story on an emotional basis," Cameron shared with Total Film, per GamesRadar. "I would say the emphasis in the new film is more on character, more on story, more on relationships, more on emotion. We didn't spend as much time on relationship and emotion in the first film as we do in the second film, and it's a longer film, because there's more characters to service. There's more story to service."

This explanation should excite fans of the series, as the original film focused more on the conflict between colonizers and the Na'vi species of Pandora, while this film will be able to entirely immerse audiences in the world of Pandora. With 14 years having passed in the narrative, audiences will get to catch up with Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) and their family, though with it focusing on a family and coming from The Walt Disney Company, Cameron promised this isn't the traditional family film.

"People say, 'Oh, my God, a family story from Disney? Just what we want...' This isn't that kind of family story," the director confessed. "This is a family story like how The Sopranos is a family story." 

Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), 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.

Avatar: The Way of Water lands in theaters on December 16th.

Are you looking forward to seeing the new film? Let us know in the comments!