You can now book your Cineworld tickets for Avatar: The Way of Water. So, are you ready to return to Pandora for another majestic and awe-inspiring adventure?
Here are five reasons why you need to claim your seat right away for the biggest blockbuster event of the winter.
1. It's the sequel to the biggest movie of all time
It's impossible to underestimate how big Avatar was at the time of its release. Buoyed by its RealD 3D ticket uplift, awe-inspiring visuals and pioneering performance capture effects, Avatar was more than just a movie. It was a journey inside the world of imagination as filtered by cinema showman James Cameron.
The latter had established a hard-won reputation in the realm of sci-fi and epic drama via the likes of the Terminator films and Titanic. The latter, decried as a folly prior to its release, became the first movie to gross more than $1 billion worldwide.
Surely, there was no way Cameron could repeat the same trick again? Never tell him the odds. Avatar took advantage of the unique factors listed above, while also rising on the filmmaker's intrinsic reputation, to amass more than $2 billion at the global box office.
Despite an insurgent attempt from Avengers: Endgame to topple Avatar from its position, Cameron's movie has held fast at the top of the box office tree.
So, let us put it this way. Do you really want to miss out on the hype for Avatar: The Way of Water? One thing's for sure: blockbuster and fantasy fans are bound to be talking about it and you don't want to be left out of the conversation as we return to Pandora for another sweeping adventure.
2. It's set to blow you away in a variety of big-screen formats
Take your pick as to how you'll witness Avatar at Cineworld. But just bear this in mind: your token widescreen experience won't do. After all, this is the Avatar sequel we're talking about, a movie that is designed to engulf and overwhelm your senses.
It, therefore, makes sense to augment your Cineworld experience by choosing from a host of formats. IMAX is your way of watching the film to the fullest, propelled by dual projection, frame-by-frame remastering and fully integrated digital sound to put you in the world of Avatar.
Want to feel the impact of the movie in your seat? The 4DX experience is unique to Cineworld cinemas in the UK and Ireland, an immersive multi-sensory journey that unleashes moving seats, water, wind and scents to lend added tactility to the viewing of the movie.
ScreenX is exclusive to Cineworld cinemas in the UK, utilising up to 12 additional projectors to extend the film out onto the side walls of the screening room. This crafts a truly atmospheric Avatar experience that surrounds you in your seat.
The impact of RealD 3D is intrinsically tied to the release of the original Avatar movie, which pioneered the format like few movies before it. So, if you're feeling nostalgic, it's time to put on the glasses once again and feel the action reaching out of the screen toward your seat.
And finally, why not opt for Superscreen? Breathtaking multidimensional sound powered by epic Dolby Atmos speakers will make you feel like you’re right there in the film. This is combined with state-of-the-art projection on our huge screens for breathtaking clarity and immersion.
3. It re-introduces familiar characters...
Avatar: The Way of Water pivots around returning characters Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). At the end of the first movie, Jake left his human body behind forever and permanently switched his soul into his Avatar body, one resembling the indigenous Pandoran Na'vi.
The Way of Water picks up 10 years after the events of the first Avatar. Jake and Neytiri are now parents to several children and have been enjoying a relatively idyllic existence amidst the lush trees and ferns of Pandora.
However, the emergence of an old threat uproots them from their beloved home. Jake, Neytiri and their kids are forced to seek sanctuary with the aquatic Metkayina tribe (more on whom momentarily), all the while as they reckon with their past.
Somewhat confusingly, Jake and Neytiri's oldest child, Kiri, is played by Sigourney Weaver. Is there a connection with Weaver's character from the previous movie, Dr. Grace Augustine? She was the pioneer of the Avatar body swap program but was killed in the course of the action.
We can't wait to see how Cameron explains that one. (Maybe it's some kind of spiritual transference relating to the great Pandoran deity, Eywa?) Just as confusing is the return of the villainous Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), Jake's former military commander who was demonstrably killed in the first movie, but who's now been reborn in an avatar body of his own.
You can also expect to see the likes of Giovanni Ribisi's slimy corporate suit Parker back again. Joel David Moore's Dr. Norm Spellman and Dileep Rao's Dr. Max Patel also return from the first movie, as does C.C.H. Pounder as Neytiri's mother Mo'at.
4. ...And it sets the stage for exciting new faces
As mentioned, The Way of Water introduces the underwater Metkayina tribe. It allows Cameron to expand his visual pallette, immersing us in all manner of limpid light and shade as we're exposed to previously unseen corners of Pandora.
The Metkayina is represented by Kate Winslet's Ronal and Cliff Curtis' Tonowari, the leaders of the tribe. The former reunites with Cameron for the first time since their acclaimed collaboration on Titanic, and much has been made of Winslet's free-diving abilities on the Avatar sequel. (She managed to hold her breath for six minutes while shooting underwater.)
Screen newcomer Jack Champion portrays Miles 'Spider' Socorro. He's described as a teenager born on Hell's Gate (the human base on Pandora in the first film) who was rescued and adopted by Jake and Neytiri and "prefers his time in the Pandoran rainforest".
You can also expect an appearance from The Sopranos veteran Edie Falco, here playing General Frances Ardmore. She's described as protecting the interests of RDA, the unscrupulous company that devastated Pandora in the first movie while mining for the priceless unobtanium. We reckon that makes her a villain, then.
Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement is also listed in the cast, and we're hoping he'll bring a much-needed note of wry comic relief. He's portraying marine biologist Dr. Ian Garvin.
In addition to the aforementioned Kiri, Jake and Neytiri's remaining children are Neteyam, Lo'ak and Tuktirey. They're played by Jamie Flatters, Trinity Jo-Li Bliss and Bailey Bass, respectively.
5. It's the next step in a massive five-part franchise
That's right, we're getting three more Avatar movies after this one, due for release in 2024, 2026 and 2028. If you want to keep up with the direction of travel, and want to become invested in Jake and Neytiri's ongoing emotional journey, then you have to start here.
The time has come. Click here to book your tickets for Avatar: The Way of Water, opening at Cineworld on December 16. Not yet caught the latest trailer? Watch it below.