Disney edited a trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water in order to remove a firearm before the advertisement ran with Lightyear, TheWrap reports. The trailer features a showdown between Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), riding on the back of an aquatic creature, toting what looks like an automatic rifle. In the edited version, Sully is toting a spear instead. It seems a little ironic, given that Lightyear itself has plenty of guns in it -- although they all fire lasers rather than explosive rounds. That seems to be a distinction that parents' groups and studios have traditionally found important (just ask G.I. Joe).
Another shot in the trailer, according to TheWrap, also included guns, but they weren't certain whether it was modified. Of course, it's different having a dramatic shot of the hero brandishing a gun, than just having them included in the film at some point. That might seem like splitting hairs, but the movie came out in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting, and it's plausible Disney made the change at the last minute to avoid glorifying gun violence at that moment.
Disney describes Lightyear as a sci-fi action adventure and the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans), the hero who inspired the toy, Lightyear follows the legendary Space Ranger on an intergalactic adventure alongside a group of ambitious recruits (voices of Keke Palmer, Dale Soules and Taika Waititi), and his robot companion Sox (voice of Peter Sohn). Also joining the cast are Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez and Isiah Whitlock Jr.
Directed by Angus MacLane (co-director Finding Dory) and produced by Galyn Susman (Toy Story That Time Forgot), Lightyear is now in theaters.
Avatar: The Way of Water opens in theaters on December 16th. Avatar returns to theaters on September 23rd. Another Avatar sequel has already been filmed, with two more planned should the franchise prove a continuing success for Disney.
There's a lot riding on making a sequel to the highest-grossing movie of all time. Star Zoe Saldana recently described the process as "nerve-wracking."
"It's exciting; nerve-wracking," she told Entertainment Weekly. "Humbling as well, you know – the wait is finally over. And we get to share something that we love so much with so many people that we know love it, too."
Asked to compare her experience on Avatar with filming Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Saldana said, "They demand a different kind of sacrifice, but they stand very unique on their own subjective grounds,. Gamora is a much more traditional approach where you wake up at 3 o'clock in the morning and you go through the whole prosthetic process. And then kind of once you see yourself and you feel Gamora on you, obviously, you transform, you know?"