The first look of Avatar 2 is expected to debut at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. The Walt Disney Company is expected to offer attendees a first-look at the much-awaited James Cameron’s long in-development sequels, the first of which arrives later this year in December 16.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, cinema tech firm Christie confirms it’s working with Cameron’s Lightstorm to advance theatrical capabilities. While Disney is keeping tight-lipped, CinemaCon attendees are expected to get a first glimpse at James Cameron’s wildly anticipated Avatar sequels during its slate presentation Wednesday at the theater owners confab.
Avatar 2 will reportedly be offered in a wide variety of formats to support the range of movie theater configurations in the U.S. and around the world, including 3D and 4K and incorporating a high frame rate of 48 fps. In fact, there will be more versions of Avatar 2 than any movie “in the history of movies,” asserted John Fithian, president and CEO of the National Association of Theater Owners, at CinemaCon on Tuesday. “We are talking about high resolution, high frame rates, 3D, IMAX, PLF, different sound systems and in 160 different languages. He is working very closely with our members around the world to show his movie in the best possible way,” he says. “Jim is uniquely driven. He’s brilliant.”
20th Century Studios President Steve Asbell previously confirmed that despite all of the delays that have happened, Avatar 2 is going to be released this year. In a previous interview with THR, Asbell had no hesitation about replying in the affirmative when asked about the sequel’s Christmas 2022 release date. “For real. It’s going to blow people away,” he said. “You’re not ready for what Jim is doing.”It is worth noting that Avatar has been one of the highest grossing and influential movies of all time. The magnum opus has been the highest-grossing movie ever with $2.84 billion. In addition to being a visual marvel, Avatar kickstarted the 3D movie era and introduced new production techniques, including performance capture and virtual production. So, it will be interesting to see how Cameron is planning to play with technology in his wildly anticipated sequels.
While Avatar 2 will be released in many formats to secure as many screens as it can, Christie and Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment will provide a new projection system to kick things up a notch in select theaters. “Over the years, we’ve worked closely with the team at Lightstorm,” says Brian Claypool, Executive VP of Cinema at Christie. “With our range of Xenon and RGB laser projectors with Real|Laser technology, Lightstorm has been able to review footage at various stages of production to ensure the final product looks as intended on the big screen.” Per the report, part of Lightstorm’s production process includes a Christie 4K, high frame rate capable projector installed into a “pod,” used to review footage as it’s filmed on set.
Additionally, Lightstorm has Christie projectors installed in multiple postproduction environments allowing Cameron to work on creating the final images to be used in Avatar 2. “Christie has been a good partner. We’re using their projection systems at all our production sites, in the U.S. and New Zealand,” says Cameron in a released statement. “Wherever I am, I can view progress on my films in high-quality stereo 3D, just as the audience will see the movies in theaters when they come out. This is essential to our working process.”
While an official title for Avatar 2 has not been confirmed by the studio but the film is confirmed to feature several returning stars including Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stepehn Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, CCH Pounder, Matt Gerald, and Sigourney Weaver. The cast for the sequels will include more newcomers than returning members though with the likes of Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Oona Chaplin, David Thewlis, Vin Diesel, and CJ Jones all set to appear as well.
The second installment of the sci-fi franchise will be released on December 16, almost thirteen years after the original Avatar, followed by Avatar 3 which is set to debut two years later on December 20, 2024.