'Avatar: The Way of Water' Release Date, Cast, Trailer and Plot

Avatar 2 has long been a punchline of film Twitter, with movie fans joking about whether the movies would ever come out, and openly asking if anyone cared about Avatar 13 years after the first movie. Director James Cameron, however, will be hoping to prove them wrong this winter, when the long awaited sequel will be coming to theaters.

Avatar: The Way of Water was announced as the title of the movie at the recent industry event CinemaCon, where attendees also got to see the first 3D trailer of the special effects epic, which cost a reported $250 million to make.

The release date for The Way of Water has now been announced for late 2022, as has the additional cast who will be joining the stars of the original movie. We also have some details of the plot, even if the trailer was mostly showcasing the awe-inspiring special effects of the Avatar sequel.

When is Avatar: The Way of Water coming out?

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Zoe Saldana as Neytiri in the original "Avatar." The trailer for its sequel "The Way of Water" was released at CinemaCon 2022. 20th Century Studios

Avatar 2 has been subject to many delays—the film was first intended to come out in December 2014, and has had its release date delayed eight times since then.

Discussing the moving release dates, Cameron told Vanity Fair: "I wouldn't call them delays. The scripts took four years. You can call that a delay, but it's not really a delay because from the time we pushed the button to really go make the movies [until now,] we're clicking along perfectly."

However, 20th Century Studios seem to be sticking to the movie's current release date, currently set for Friday, December 16, 2022. Avatars 3, 4 and 5, meanwhile, are currently set for December 2024, 2026 and 2028 respectively.

Who is in the cast of Avatar 2?

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Kate Winslet filming "Avatar: The Way of Water." The "Titanic" star was required to hold her breath for seven minutes for one scene. 20th Century Studios

Confirmed to be returning from the original Avatar are Zoe Saldana as Neytiri, Sam Worthington as Jake Sully and Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch. Also back are Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao and CCH Pounder. Sigourney Weaver also returns, though she has said she is playing a new character.

The highest profile of the new cast members is Kate Winslet, the Oscar-winning actor reuniting with her Titanic director James Cameron. Like their previous collaboration, her role in Avatar 2 is very water focused—she learned to free-dive for the film, and spent seven minutes holding her breath underwater for another (beating Tom Cruise's record from his underwater scene in Rogue Nation). Despite this, Winslet has called her role as Ronal "relatively small comparative to the lengthy shoot."

Also joining the cast is Fear the Walking Dead's Cliff Curtis as another of the Na'vi called Tonowari. He and Ronal are members of the Metkayina clan, free divers who live among the reefs of Pandora. Among the new human characters are The Sopranos' Edie Falco and Everything Everywhere All At Once's Michelle Yeoh. Vin Diesel has also been cast in the film, though his role has not been revealed.

What will happen in Avatar: The Way of Water?

Not much in the way of plot for Avatar 2 has been announced, save for the fact that that film will feature the Metkayina and features long stretches set (and filmed) underwater.

The official (and vague) 20th Century Studios synopsis reads: "​​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, 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."

The official trailer has not been publicly released yet, but reports from CinemaCon confirmed it was 90 seconds long, in 3D and largely plotless. Instead of revealing the storyline (which, if we are honest, was hardly the strong suit of the original film), the promo highlighted the landscapes of Pandora, which glimpses of action set in the air and in its seas.

The AV Club's reaction to the trailer summed up many reports: "The amount of detail in every image, the vividness of the characters and brightness of each image, offered a perhaps overdue reminder that Cameron always uses his full ass when it comes to throwing himself into projects."