Come on in, the water's fine! Thirteen years after writer-producer-director James Cameron unveiled his sci-fi epic Avatar to the world — winning three Oscars and going on to become the highest grossing film of all-time worldwide — it's finally time to return to Pandora in Avatar: The Way of Water.
Set more than a decade after the first film — which ended with Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) renouncing his human self to live forever among the Na'vi — The Way of Water tells the story of the Sully family, which includes Jake, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and their children: Na'vi-born Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), Lo'ak (Britain Dalton) and Tuktirey (Trinity Bliss) and an adopted human son, Spider (Jack Champion).
The sequel introduces the reef clan of Metkayina, including Kate Winslet's mysterious Ronal. Then there's the human faction, which includes Edie Falco's RDA commander, and doctors played by Michelle Yeoh and Jemaine Clement. Sigourney Weaver, meanwhile, is back as a new character, while Stephen Lang's Colonel Miles Quaritch, who died at the end of the first film, returns as the main antagonist.
The original Avatar earned nine total Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Cameron. Avatar took home Oscars for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects and Production Design (known as Best Art Direction at the time).
Avatar: The Way of Water is the first of four planned sequels that will hit theaters in 2022, 2024, 2026 and 2028, all of which Cameron has said will "test the limits of what cinema can do."
Avatar: The Way of Water arrives in theaters on Dec. 16. (Watch the trailer below.) Before then, 20th Century Studios is re-releasing Avatar in theaters on Sept. 23.