Avatar: The Way of Water (also marketed as James Cameron's Avatar: The Way of Water) is an upcoming American science fiction film directed, produced, edited, and co-written by James Cameron, produced by 20th Century Studios. It is the second film in the Avatar franchise, following Avatar (2009). Cameron is producing the film with Jon Landau, with Josh Friedman originally announced as his co-writer; it was later announced that Cameron, Friedman, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, and Shane Salerno took a part in the writing process of all sequels before being attributed separate scripts, making the eventual writing credits unclear. Cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, CCH Pounder, and Matt Gerald are all reprising their roles from the original film, with Sigourney Weaver returning in a different role. New cast members include Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Oona Chaplin, CJ Jones, and Vin Diesel.
Cameron, who had stated in 2006 that he would like to make sequels to Avatar if it was successful, announced the first two in 2010 following the widespread success of the first film, with Avatar 2 aiming for a 2014 release. However, the subsequent addition of three more sequels, and the necessity to develop new technology in order to film performance capture scenes underwater, a feat never accomplished before, led to significant delays to allow the crew more time to work on the writing, pre-production, and visual effects; it is currently planned for a release on December 16, 2022, with the following three sequels to be released, respectively, on December 20, 2024, December 18, 2026 and December 22, 2028.
Preliminary shooting for the film started in Manhattan Beach, California on August 15, 2017, followed by principal photography simultaneously with Avatar 3 in New Zealand on September 25, 2017. Performance capture filming wrapped in November 2018, while live-action filming began in April 2019.