Entertainment Avatar director James Cameron makes two big announcements about the films’ future
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Avatar director James Cameron makes two big announcements about the films’ future

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Avatar writer and director James Cameron has made not one, but two key announcements about what’s next for the sci-fi movie franchise.

Cameron has kept fans guessing for years about when the sequel to the box office record-breaking 2009 film would finally arrive.

Thirteen years after Avatar arrived in theatres, Cameron has finally shown the first trailer for the upcoming sequel – but unfortunately, most fans will still have to wait a bit longer to catch it.

Cinema owners gathered in Las Vegas for the annual CinemaCon event on Thursday (local time) were handed 3D glasses ahead of the 90-second trailer’s premiere.

The footage reportedly showed Aussie actor Sam Worthington’s character, Jake Sully, and Zoe Saldana’s character, Neytiri, navigating the planet’s stunning new underwater environments.

The teaser was apparently almost entirely dialogue free, except for a few words from Jake: “I know one thing. Wherever we go, this family is our fortress.”

Appearing by video link, Cameron also confirmed the project was no longer called Avatar 2.

Now officially titled Avatar: The Way of Water, its trailer will be officially unveiled to the public in theatres next week – but only to those who are already there to see Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which opens on May 5.

The trailer is expected to debut online the following week, and the film itself will arrive in cinemas on December 16.

The four Avatar sequels have all been plagued by countless hold-ups, with the cinematic release of the first sequel delayed a whopping eight years.

The smash-hit original was set on the alien planet of Pandora, and followed Marine Jake Sully as he fell in love with one of the planet’s Na’vi inhabitants, Neytiri.

By the end of the film, Jake decided to join the Na’vi tribe in the form of his ‘Avatar’ and begin a new life on Pandora with Neytiri.

Cameron says all four films will follow the next chapter of Jake and Neytiri’s lives, which will become disrupted by the return of humans and their mining operations to the planet.

The first sequel will feature the return of previous cast members Worthington and Saldana, along with Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, Stephen Lang, Matt Gerald, and Sigourney Weaver.

Additions to the cast include Kate Winslet (who famously starred in Cameron’s Titanic), Edie Falco (The Sopranos), Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians), Vin Diesel (of the Fast & Furious franchise), Jemaine Clement (of musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords) and Oona Chaplin (Game of Thrones).

Double whammy

Not only has Cameron shown a first glimpse at the long-awaited sequel, he has also confirmed the first film will get some special treatment.

The original film, now more than a decade old, will be remastered and re-released in cinemas worldwide prior to the sequel’s arrival.

Avatar‘s visual effects, groundbreaking at the time of its release, will be enhanced and polished up, along with the film’s audio.

For those seeking a refresh of the first movie before seeing the sequel, the remastered version will be released in theatres worldwide on September 23.

The original version is available to stream on Disney+.