Return to Pandora: ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Is About to Hit Streaming

avatar 2 the way of water james cameron why has avatar 2 taken so long

In 2009, James Cameron set a new global box office record with Avatar, pushing his previous film, Titanic, into the number two spot. Thirteen years later, Avatar still holds the record for being the highest grossing film of all time. It was briefly surpassed by Avengers: Endgame in 2019, but a 2021 re-release of Avatar saw it reclaim the top spot. In December, Avatar: The Way of Water was finally released, and soon, Avatar 2 will be streaming in Australia.

Where to Watch Avatar 2 In Australia

Avatar: The Way of Water is officially coming to streaming. After swimming its way up the box office charts, where it is currently the third-highest grossing film of all time, Avatar 2 is set to make its debut on Disney+.

Avatar: The Way of Water will debut on June 7 in Australia. The release will also contain bonus content featuring the filmmakers, cast and crew.

Why Did the Avatar Sequels Take So Long?

To date, Avatar has made USD$2.923 billion globally at the box office.

Shortly after the film’s release, Cameron announced there would be a sequel. Then, he announced there would be multiple sequels.

Over the next 13 years, the sequels were announced and pushed back multiple times. SO many times, in fact, that movie fans began to wonder if they would ever see the light of day.

Then, at Cinema Con last year, Cameron proved that yes, Avatar 2 was real, and it was coming to cinemas in December.

Cameron first announced the sequel to Avatar in January 2010. If you’re wondering how it ended up taking 13 years to arrive in cinemas, you’re not alone.

Here’s a timeline breaking down the road to Avatar: The Way of Water and beyond.

January 2010

Avatar makes its first billion at the box office, and Cameron announces that a sequel is imminent. The following week, he tells Entertainment Weekly that there will be “two or three” sequels.

February 2010

Cameron says he’s going to write an Avatar prequel novel. This prequel novel never sees the light of day, but Cameron later announces that he’s hired science fiction author Steven Charles Gould to release a series of novels set within the Avatar world. They will supposedly be released alongside the films.

April 2010

Cameron announces that the sequel will be set in the ocean. He tells the Los Angeles Times that “part of [his] focus in the second film is in creating a different environment — a different setting within Pandora”.

August 2010

Cameron announces Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 will be filmed back-to-back.

October 2010

Cameron passes on the opportunity to work on Sony’s Cleopatra in order to focus on the Avatar sequels, which are slated for release in December 2014 and December 2015. (Cleopatra never sees the light of day).

May 2012

Surprise! Cameron announces Avatar 4, and says that the Avatar films are his sole focus. He tells the New York Times that he’s “not interested in developing anything else”.

“I’m in the Avatar business,” he says. “Period. That’s it. I’m making Avatar 2Avatar 3, maybe Avatar 4, and I’m not going to produce other people’s movies for them.”

August 2013

Despite announcing it in May of 2012, Avatar 4 is officially confirmed. At this point, the three sequels are slated for release in December 2016, 2017 and 2018.

December 2013

Cameron, 20th Century Fox and the New Zealand government sign a deal worth over 500 million New Zealand dollars to have the Avatar sequels film in New Zealand.

April 2014

Cameron says that the Avatar sequels are “essentially all in preproduction now” during a Reddit AMA.

January 2015

The Avatar sequels are pushed back by a year. Cameron tells the Associated Press that the delay is due to the “very involved” nature of writing three films at once.

“There’s a layer of complexity in getting the story to work as a saga across three films,” he says.

Avatar 2 is now set for a December 2017 release, with the third and fourth films set for 2018 and 2019 releases.

April 2015

Cameron announces Avatar 5.

January 2016

The Wrap reports that Avatar 2 will miss its December 2017 release date, and that the production has been delayed indefinitely.

April 2016

Cameron makes a surprise appearance at Comic Con and reportedly tells the audience: “The next time I see you will be on Pandora.”

Cameron promises Avatar 2 will hit cinemas in December 2018, with Avatar 3 set for December 2020, Avatar 4 set for December 2022, and Avatar 5 set for December 2023.

September 2016

Cameron says that although they “haven’t” pushed the releases back again, they “will if [they] need to”.

He tells Variety: “The important thing for me is not when the first one comes out but the cadence of the release pattern. If it’s an annual appointment to show up at Christmas, I want to make sure that we’re able to fulfil on that promise.”

April 2017

The Avatar sequels go into production! Avatar 2 is now slated for a December 2020 release, with Avatar 3 set for December 2021, Avatar 4 set for December 2024 and Avatar 5 set for December 2025.

September 2017

The Avatar sequels begin filming!

May 2019

Disney acquires Fox, and reschedules the Avatar sequels. Avatar 2 is pushed to December 2021, Avatar 3 is slated for December 2023, Avatar 4 is slated for December 2025 and Avatar 5 is slated for December 2027.

The BBC publishes an article that reveals the titles of the sequels. They are as follows: Avatar: The Way of Water, Avatar: The Seed Bearer, Avatar: The Tulkun Rider and Avatar: The Quest for Eywa.

March 2020

COVID-19 halts production on the Avatar sequels.

May 2020

Producer Jon Landau announces that the Avatar sequels will resume production in June.

July 2020

Avatar 2 is pushed to December 2022, pushing the following sequels to 2024, 2026 and 2028.

September 2020

Cameron says that filming on Avatar 2 is “100% complete” and that Avatar 3 is “95% complete”.

April 2022

Avatar 2 is officially announced as Avatar: The Way of Water, and the Cinema Con audience screens the very first look at the film.

December 2022

Avatar: The Way of Water is released.

June 2023

Avatar 3, Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 are pushed back. Avatar 3 is now slated for December 18  2025, Avatar 4 for December 20, 2029, and Avatar 5 for December 18, 2031.

What Is Avatar: The Way of Water About?

Avatar: The Way of Water is set more than a decade after the events of the first film. It tells 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.

The Avatar: The Way of Water Trailer

Who’s In Avatar: The Way of Water?

Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington are both back for Avatar: The Way of Water.

In an interview with Variety, Worthington joked about the long delay between Avatar and its long-awaited sequel, saying:

“When I did the first one, I was 30, and when the second one comes out, I’m gonna be pushing 50.”

He continued: “In the first one I was in a wheelchair, you know. And by the time we get to the fourth and fifth, I might actually be in a wheelchair by the time we get to do it.”

The Australian actor added that it was “great to be a part of such an amazing family and have that longevity”, and called Cameron “a very loyal man”.

Avatar: The Way of Water also marked the return of Giovanni Ribisi, Sigourney Weaver, CCH Pounder and Stephen Lang.

Kate Winslet, Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh, Edie Falco, Cliff Curtis and Jemaine Clement also joined the Avatar franchise for Avatar: The Way of Water.

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