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James Cameron explains why Avatar: The Way of Water has such a mammoth runtime

Aisha Nozari

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James Cameron explains why Avatar: The Way of Water has such a mammoth runtime

Featured Image Credit: FlixPix/Alamy Stock Photo/20th Century Studios

It’s not long now before James Cameron transports us back to Pandora - his Avatar sequel will finally hit cinemas on 16 December.

It’s also been confirmed that Avatar: The Way of Water has a whopping run-time of more than three hours, something Cameron addressed in a new interview.

The megastar director explained that The Way of Water places more emphasis on character development and emotion, calling the approach ‘extremely compelling’.

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Cameron told Total Film: “The goal is to tell an extremely compelling story on an emotional basis.”

He continued: “I would say the emphasis in the new film is more on character, more on story, more on relationships, more on emotion.

“We didn’t spend as much time on relationship and emotion in the first film as we do in the second film, and it’s a longer film, because there’s more characters to service. There’s more story to service.”

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Last week, the latest trailer for Way of Water dropped, providing the most significant sneak peak of the film to date.

The official synopsis for Way of Water reads: "Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) have formed a family and are doing everything to stay together.

The Avatar sequel looks like it's well worth the 13-year wait. Credit: Disney
The Avatar sequel looks like it's well worth the 13-year wait. Credit: Disney

"However, they must leave their home and explore the regions of Pandora. When an ancient threat resurfaces, Jake must fight a difficult war against the humans."

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Meanwhile, Cameron revealed in a recent interview that he’s already started working on the fourth Avatar movie, which isn’t set to hit screens until 2026, with a fifth flick arriving two years later.

He told Variety last month: “We’ve completed most of the first act of Avatar 4 and there were logistical reasons why we needed to do that.”

As for the third instalment, which is rumoured to be called Avatar: The Seed Bearer, we can expect that to land in cinemas next year.

Avatar 2 will be released 13 years after the original. Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
Avatar 2 will be released 13 years after the original. Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
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Over summer, Way of Water was billed as being ‘the most insanely complicated movie ever made'.

Speaking at 2022’s DGA Digital Day in August, Cameron shared new details about the sequel’s intricate filming process, which fellow director Liam O’Donnell admitted ‘blew his mind’.

When new Way of Water footage was shown during Cameron’s keynote speech, O’Donnell immediately took to Twitter to exclaim: “AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER appears to be the most insanely complicated movie ever made. Holy s**t. James Cameron’s Digital Day keynote just broke my brain.”

Topics: News, Film and TV, James Cameron

Aisha Nozari
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