It took 13 years for James Cameron to bring the sequel to 2009’s Avatar to the screen and early reactions to the film seem to point to it being both a technological marvel and a film worthy of the blockbuster status it’s preemptively been assigned. However, if you think Cameron was going to wait 13 years to simply dish out more of the same from the first film, you’re in for some surprises.
During the global press event for Avatar: The Way of Water, Cameron explained that while the sequel will touch on the components that made the first film the #1 highest-grossing film of all-time, audiences are also in for some surprises.
I think it’s important for a sequel to honor what the audience loved about the experience the first time. But also to, you know, get them off-balance, you know, do things that they don’t expect. There are a lot of surprises in terms of where the story goes in this film, that we’re not putting into the trailers and the TV spots and all that. You kind of have to experience it.James Cameron
Cameron continued on to explain that while there are some surprises as the plot unfolds, one of the key differences between the sequel and its predecessor comes from the emotional family dynamic at the heart of the film.
But it also goes a lot deeper, in terms of the heart and the emotions, I mean, wouldn’t you guys say? I mean, we were (Sure), it was a much simpler story, and the characters were simpler the first time. And I was inspired by the fact that both Zoe and Sam were- Sam are parents, and I’m a parent of five, and so we wanted to get into the family dynamics, and the responsibilities of having kids. And also what that’s all like from the kid’s perspective right?James Cameron
At 190 minutes, Avatar: The Way of Water has plenty of time to sneak in some surprises and to allow for an emotional connection to be established with the audience. Cameron is no stranger to making successful sequels. Given his passion for the project and the worlds and characters he’s built within it, it seems safe to say the film will be a big hit over this holiday season.
Avatar: The Way of Water hits theaters on December 16th.