James Cameron Makes A Prediction About Movie Theaters As He And Jon Landau Reveal New Avatar 2 Details

Jake Sully peering through plants in Avatar: The Way of Water
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Marketing for the upcoming movie Avatar: The Way of Water seems to be ramping up as of late. With announcements and photos adding to what we know about James Cameron’s long awaited sequel, the hype is getting real. Cameron himself has even contributed to that particular beast, as the director and creator of the Avatar series is confident that moviegoers want the continuation of Jake Sully’s story, as well as a return to big ticket spectacle at a theater near them.

Deadline covered remarks James Cameron and long-time producing partner Jon Landau made at this year’s CineEurope exhibition in Barcelona. The Avatar 2 fanfare consisted of four new scenes being screened for attendees, and an introduction from the filmmakers. 

It was at this moment that the Titanic and Terminator mastermind drew a line in the sand.  Touting theatrical exhibition’s longevity through these remarks about Avatar: The Way of Water, here's James Cameron's bullish prediction regarding the business of theaters:

[We were] pushing the limits even further… every shot is designed for the biggest screen and highest resolution possible… I believe the audience wants this. We as an industry are not going away.

That sort of push has been promoted for some time now in connection with Avatar’s next chapter. Earlier this year, CinemaCon audiences in Las Vegas got to see the teaser trailer for the first time, which was shown in the 3D format that Avatar helped cement as part of the big screen experience for a time in the early 2010s. As Avatar: The Way of Water could revitalize 3D, James Cameron’s promise of the biggest and best formats seems stronger than ever. Indeed, when the December 2022 debut of the film finally arrives, it’ll be on the back of what could be the most formats offered for one single film. 

It’s a strategy which includes, but isn’t limited to, High Frame Rate and IMAX presentations of Avatar 2 in theaters. Even in a theatrical market where 3D itself isn’t as frequently used as it once was, the first look for Avatar: The Way of Water was enough to bring trailers enhanced in the third dimension back to the table. The result was the first new Avatar footage in over a decade, presented in a gorgeous 3D. 

The die has been cast for Avatar: The Way of Water’s big screen debut, and it’s full steam ahead into theaters. It’s an approach that very few filmmakers can demand, and James Cameron is definitely one of them. This means the pressure on this sequel to deliver is even higher than ever, and significant given the recent comments about Cameron’s potential departure from future sequels after Avatar 3.

Avatar 2 absolutely looks like a theatrical must-see, just on previews alone. Anyone can see that when they watch the trailer for The Way of Water, which you can watch/rewatch below: 

The future of the franchise depends on how Avatar: The Way of Water splashes into the box office pool, starting with its December 16 debut. We still have a while to wait, but can follow the breadcrumbs being dropped in the meantime. We're still waiting for our first look at Kate Winslet’s Avatar sequels character, and the answer to who Sigourney Weaver is playing in The Way of Water.

For those who wish to rekindle their love affair with Pandoran lore, a remastered cut of James Cameron's Avatar will be heading to theaters this September. Right now, Disney+ subscribers can watch the 2009 original at their leisure, thanks to the film being included on the platform's library.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.