Disney has confirmed the title of Avatar 2, which will be Avatar: The Way of Water. The Avatar 2 title (and first 3D footage) was revealed by producer Jon Landau at CinemaCon 2022, during Disney's massive panel highlighting its upcoming slate of content. The title for Avatar 2 (as well as sequels Avatar 3, Avatar 4, and Avatar 5) were first reported on back in 2018, a time when the release slate for these films looked very different (and much closer).
Here's the official synopsis for Avatar: The Way of Water:
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. Directed by James Cameron and produced by Cameron and Jon Landau, the film stars Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement, Giovanni Ribisi, and Kate Winslet. To whet audiences' appetites, the studio will re-release "Avatar" in theaters on September 23.
The title for Avatar 2 fits, as water will be a major theme of the sequel – something we've known from the start.
"There's a tremendous amount of water work across Avatar 2and 3," James Cameron said in 2017. "It's ongoing into 4 and 5, but the emphasis is on 2 and 3.
We actually played an entire scene underwater with our young cast. We've got six teenagers and one seven-year-old, and they're all playing a scene underwater. We've been training them for six months now, with how to hold their breath, and they're all up in the two to four minute range. They're all perfectly capable of acting underwater, very calmly while holding their breath. We're not doing any of this on scuba. And we're getting really good data, beautiful character motion and great facial performance capture. We've basically cracked the code."
Avatar franchise star Zoe Saldana echoed Cameron's words earlier this year, saying:
"He was finally able to crack that challenge," Saldana told critic Kevin McCarthy. "That whole thing that you can't imitate water virtually through performance capture. That was just a challenge that he had taken upon himself, and it took him years, and he did it. It's powerful, it's compelling. I can get choked up just talking about it."
Saldana also teased the impending experience of fans getting to see Avatar 2 footage, saying:
"I was able to see just 20 minutes of the second installment right before the year ended last year and I was speechless...I was moved to tears. One thing nobody really knows about Jim is that Jim is also a big crier. He really has a heart of gold, and he is a firm man and he's very focused, but he does have a very delicate heart which is why he protects it so much. I think he's able to have an outlet through the stories that he creates and this story is going to be compelling. Avatar 2 is definitely a leap from the Avatar 1. I think you really have to brace yourself for it, but it's going to be an adventure that you will not forget."
Returning franchise stars include Sam Worthington, Stepehn Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, CCH Pounder, Matt Gerald, and Sigourney Weaver. Newcomers include Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Oona Chaplin, David Thewlis, Vin Diesel, and CJ Jones.