Like all great blockbuster franchises, it looks like the long (long, long, loooong) awaited second installment in James Cameron‘s Avatar series — the last of which, you’ll recall, came out over twelve years ago — is going to be centred around one big theme: family. (Cue Vin Diesel clinking a Corona with a wry, cheeky grin.) According to the latest issue of Empire, in the thirteen years since the events of Avatar, protagonist Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldańa) have created their own little flock. Among their clan? Miles Socorro, aka Spider, a human child played by Jack Champion. The new picture is pretty sinister, all things considered, showcasing Spider on the prowl… but hunting what, we’re yet to find out.
“Jake took him in but Neytiri always saw him as one of the people who destroyed her home and killed her father,” producer Jon Landau tells Empire of Spider, in their The Batman cover issue. “So you have all these dynamics playing out.” Cameron isn’t exactly averse to dealing with drama familial and domestic: Arnold Schwarzenegger essentially plays a robotic, surrogate dad to John Connor in Terminator 2, and what about Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and Newt in Aliens? Indeed, Landau goes on to say:
“If you look at what Jim does in his movies, he writes in universal themes that are bigger than the genre of any one movie. […] This time around, we’re taking Jake and Neytiri and building the most universal theme of all around them. Which is family. Jake comes from the human world, Neytiri from the Na’vi world. So, they’re like a modern mixed-race couple, raising kids who perhaps feel they don’t belong to one world or another.”
Cameron spoke recently about the Avatar sequels while promoting his new documentary, speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the pressures of success hanging over the upcoming blockbusters. “The big issue is: Are we going to make any damn money?” he said. “Big, expensive films have got to make a lot of money. We’re in a new world post-COVID, post-streaming. Maybe those numbers will never be seen again. Who knows? It’s all a big roll of the dice.”
Avatar 2 will also see the return of Sigourney Weaver in a yet to be disclosed capacity, and introduces Kate Winslet, too, as Ronal, one of the members of the new Na’vi race introduced in the film. The film is set to premiere on December 16, 2022, followed by three sequels to premiere every two years after that — in 2024, 2026, and 2028.