Avatar: The Way of Water
(colloquially known as Avatar 2) is an upcoming American epic science-fiction film directed by James Cameron and produced by 20th Century Studios. It is the second film in Cameron's Avatar franchise, following Avatar (2009).
Cameron is producing the film with Jon Landau, with Josh Friedman originally announced as Cameron's cowriter; it was later announced that Cameron, Friedman, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, and Shane Salerno took a part in the writing process of all sequels before being attributed separate scripts, making the eventual writing credits unclear.
Cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, CCH Pounder, and Matt Gerald reprise their roles from the original film, with Sigourney Weaver returning in a different role.
New cast members include Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Oona Chaplin, Vin Diesel, and CJ Jones.Cameron, who had stated in 2006 that he would like to make sequels to Avatar if it was successful, announced the first two sequels in 2010 following the widespread success of the first film, with The Way of Water aiming for a 2014 release.
However, the addition of three more sequels (to the first one) and the necessity to develop new technology in order to film performance capture scenes underwater, a feat never accomplished before, led to significant delays to allow the crew more time to work on the writing, preproduction, and visual effects. Preliminary shooting for the film started in Manhattan Beach, California, on August 15, 2017, followed by principal
photography simultaneously with Avatar 3 in New Zealand on September 25, 2017; filming concluded in late September 2020, after over three years of shooting, despite production being interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The film's theatrical release has been subject to eight delays, with the latest occurring on July 23, 2020; it is currently planned for a release on December 16, 2022, with the following three sequels to be released, respectively, on December 20, 2024, December 18, 2026 and December 22, 2028.