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On set of 20th Century Studios' AVATAR 2. Photo by Mark Fellman. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

PHOTOS: Set Photos, Artwork, and More Details Released For ‘Avatar 2’

New artwork, set photos, and details have been released for “Avatar 2” in a new exclusive from Entertainment Weekly.

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As we learned from producer Jon Landau, “Avatar 2” is set over a decade after “Avatar.” Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) are now parents trying to protect their children.

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Director James Cameron and Edie Falco on set of 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR 2. Photo by Mark Fellman. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The second and third films in the series are mostly set near and in the ocean as Sully and Neytiri retreat to the coast to escape the RDA. A new clan of Na’vi called the Metkayina will be introduced.

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Director James Cameron on set of 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR 2. Photo by Mark Fellman. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The partially underwater setting is one reason the film has taken so long to be produced. The performance-capture process used for the first “Avatar” film wouldn’t work underwater. Director James Cameron and his team engineered a new way to record each actor’s precise movements when filming in a 900,000-gallon tank. The footage was then animated by artists at the Oscar-winning Weta Digital.

Members of the cast also had to undergo training to be able to film so much underwater. Many became scuba-certified and trained with professional divers to free dive and hold their breath for minutes at a time.

Cameron said that Sigourney Weaver (whose new role in the franchise is top secret) could easily hold her breath for six-and-a-half minutes, while Kate Winslet (who will be playing Ronal, one of the Metkayina) once reached seven-and-a-half.

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On set of 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR 2. Photo by Mark Fellman. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

“Avatar 2” will hit theaters on December 16, 2022. Principal photography has already wrapped on “Avatar 3,” and Weta Digital is working on post-production. The third film is due in 2024, while the fourth is due in 2026 and the fifth (and final) in 2028.

“The big issue is: Are we going to make any damn money?” Cameron told Entertainment Weekly, acknowledging the way the film landscape has shifted since “Avatar” in 2009. “Big, expensive films have got to make a lot of money. We’re in a new world post-COVID, post-streaming. Maybe those [box office] numbers will never be seen again. Who knows? It’s all a big roll of the dice.”

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