Avatar: The Way Of Water's Running Time May Have Been Revealed, And Get Ready For A Long Adventure Through Pandora

Sigourney Weaver's Kiri in Avatar: The Way of Water
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Fans have been patiently waiting for a follow-up to James Cameron's blockbuster juggernaut Avatar since 2009. However, the wait is almost over, and it sounds like fans' patience is going to pay off now that it's been announced the movie's runtime will be over three hours, giving viewers lots of time to take in the world of Pandora. 

It's been reported by World of Reel that Avatar: The Way of Water will be a staggering 190 minutes. That's 3 hours and 10 minutes, in case you or wondering. That would mean the action-adventure sequel will be 30 minutes longer than its predecessor and only four minutes shorter than Cameron's 11-time Oscar-winning epic-romance, Titanic

What could justify a runtime for an action-adventure movie centered around the fictional world of Pandora? Based on what we already know about the Avatar sequel, the film and its three planned follow-ups are set to be epics of sorts themselves. Returning actress Sigourney Weaver revealed in a recent interview that the Avatar sequels are very personal stories for James Cameron, hence why they have taken so long for him to write and bring to the screen. The story is reported to be far more focused on family and the lengths one will go to to keep their family together. The actress also said she had read three complete scripts, and that the follow-up films are, in her words, far more "amazing in their scope than the first movie." A more extensive film scope would explain the need for a longer runtime. 

Cameron has made a career of creating critically acclaimed sequels. While the original Avatar may not be at the top of everyone's ranking of best James Cameron films, a popular sequel of his, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, likely is. 

Like The Way of Water, T2 was a follow-up to a Cameron project that had been heavily criticized for being somewhat, if not entirely, derivative. The director's 1984 horror hit The Terminator faced these criticisms. The original Terminator was even sued by renowned science fiction author Harlan Ellison, who claimed the movie was eerily similar to two of his penned Outer Limits episodes. While Cameron vehemently denied the allegations and wanted to fight the case in court, the film's production company, Orion, settled with Ellison. They even went so far as to put an acknowledgment to the author on future Terminator releases. 

Many hurled similar accusations at Avatar for being nothing more than a reskinned cross between Ferngully: The Last Rainforest and Dances with Wolves

Despite all this Terminator drama, Cameron released a sequel almost a decade later that nearly everyone agrees is one of the greatest action movies of all time and superior to its predecessor in every aspect. Perhaps, when The Way of Water is finally released, over ten years after Avatar, it will join the Cameron sequels that people enjoy more than the original, and its massive runtime will be wholly justified. 

Make sure you are mindful of your beverage intake before returning to the world of Pandora when Avatar 2 hits theaters on December 16. For all of your other film-going plans in the coming months, you can look at our 2022 movie release schedule.

Ryan graduated from Missouri State University with a BA in English/Creative Writing.