James Cameron unveiled the first images from the sequel to Avatar, which remains the number one grossing film at the global box office, in Las Vegas on Wednesday, April 27, a film that director James Cameron says will “push the boundaries of what cinema can do.”
Guests at CinemaCon were invited to don 3D glasses to immerse themselves in the trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water and return to the planet Pandora, where they could see its blue-skinned inhabitants swimming and soaring through the air.
“I can assure you it was worth the wait,” said Disney’s head of casting, Tony Chambers, confirming the title chosen for this second installment of Avatar. Avatar: The Way of Water will hit theaters next December and is expected to be followed by three more installments of the saga, whose original film has grossed some USD 2.8 billion since its release in 2009.
Each episode will be a stand-alone film with its own plot. The four episodes will not be part of a story arc but, taken together, will represent “an epic saga of even greater scope,” said producer Jon Landau. The director spoke to CinemaCon attendees from New Zealand, where James Cameron is putting the finishing touches on Avatar 2.
James Cameron promised dramatic technological advances over the first Avatar, whose main protagonists Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) now have a family. “We’ve decided once again to push the boundaries of what movies can do,” he told theater bosses, gathered in Las Vegas for their annual gathering where Hollywood studios bring them their new releases and stars.
Kevin Feige, who is the boss of Marvel, had opened the presentation for Disney. Attendees were shown long clips from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which comes out next week, where the wizard played by Benedict Cumberbatch battles flying octopuses and meets a teenage girl jumping from one world to another.
The sequel to Avatar will be followed this year by two other super-productions dedicated to famous superheroes, Thor and Black Panther. Pixar has unveiled 30 minutes of its Buzz Lightyear, a story about the birth of the intrepid astronaut from the Toy Story saga, voiced by Chris Evans. In the film, due out in June, Buzz is plagued by guilt after causing his fellow space rangers to be shipwrecked on a hostile planet.
To try to rescue them, he must project himself into the future, with a robot cat as his companion. CinemaCon also saw the presentation of Amsterdam, a film with a romantic and detective plot set in the 1930s with a host of stars including Christian Bale, Robert De Niro, Margot Robbie and Chris Rock.