The first teaser for “Avatar: The Way of Water,” James Cameron’s long-awaited sequel, made less of a splash and more of a dribble when it arrived last month with only a glimpse at the return to Pandora.
But the film’s official trailer, which was released on Wednesday, reveals the wonders that await in their full glory and dives deep into the world last seen over a decade ago in the Academy Award-winning and record-breaking first film of the series.
Arriving in theaters Dec. 16, “Avatar: The Way of Water” picks up with Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) as parents raising their children in the lush greenery and awe-inspiring oceans on the planet during a period of peacetime.
“Dad, I know you think I’m crazy, but I feel her,” their teenage daughter Kiri, played by returning star Sigourney Weaver, says in the trailer about her connection to the planet. “But I feel her. I hear her heartbeat. She’s so close.”
“So what does her heartbeat sound like?” Sully asks. She responds, “Mighty.”
With a reported runtime of over three hours, however, conflict must ensue. The sequel tells the story of the family and the “trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure,” per the official synopsis.
While the threat of humankind looms as large as ever (how quickly we forget about unobtanium), tensions arise between the land dwellers and the ocean tribe Metkayina, who sternly tell the group that they “cannot let you bring your war here.”
But war indeed comes, as the trailer flashes between intense underwater battle sequences and fiery explosions that put the family’s bonds to the test.
“I need you to be strong,” Sully tells Neytiri as Pandora burns around them. “Strong heart.”
Stephen Lang, Kate Winslet, Joel David Moore, Jemaine Clement, CCH Pounder, Michelle Yeoh and Edie Falco also star in the sequel ― the first of four “Avatar” installments to arrive in the coming years.
Watch the official trailer for “Avatar: The Way of Water” below.