James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” broke box office records when it was released this past Christmas, and after months at the theater, the sequel is finally hitting home video. The movie will be available from all major digital retailers (including Prime Video, Apple TV, Vudu and Movies Anywhere) beginning on March 28.
Unlike other blockbusters, the movie will premiere on digital retailers before streaming or physical media (my kingdom for a 4K Blu-ray). But don’t worry, this digital edition will be worth it, with more than three hours of bonus features included in the package that chart the evolution and production of the groundbreaking blockbuster. That’s right – you can spend even more time on Pandora, this time charting the intricacies of the planet’s habitats along with the blood, sweat and tears that went into its actualization.
“Avatar: The World of Water” charts the Sully family, which has been expanded considerably since the events of the 2009 original. After the villainous RDA returns to Pandora, this time equipped with avatar-ized goons, Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) take their brood and hide amongst the reef people (led by Cliff Curtis and Kate Winslet). But wouldn’t you know it, conflict finds them there, too, amidst the waves. Add to that a lovable space whale, Jermaine Clement with an American accent and some of the most jaw-dropping visual effects and animation that you’ve ever seen, and you’ve got a true event. Since opening at Christmas, “Avatar: The Way of Water” has amassed $2.28 billion, making it the third highest grossing movie of all time. Not too shabby!
Below are what you can look forward as part of the digital release:
Inside Pandora’s Box (A series of featurettes on the challenges facing cast and crew as filmmakers devise new technologies to push the limits of cinema)
- Building the World of Pandora – James Cameron and a team of talented artists combine years of research with their design skills to build the world of Pandora with new characters, creatures, indigenous clans, underwater environments and the take-no-prisoners hard-tech world of the RDA.
- Capturing Pandora – James Cameron’s approach to performance capture has the cast performing in a volume rigged with infrared cameras to capture their movement, and head rig cameras to capture emotion on their faces with only the boundaries of imagination to limit them.
- The Undersea World of Pandora – Co-production designer Dylan Cole and his team conceive of the marine creatures required for Avatar: The Way of Water while James Cameron and his stunt team devise extraordinary means to bring those creatures to life in a performance capture tank.
- The Challenges of Pandora’s Waters – James Cameron tackles the “non-trivial challenge” of performance capture above and below the water’s surface, utilizing a wave machine and current generator to reproduce ocean conditions, and underwater vehicles to replicate creature movement.
- Pandora’s Returning Characters – James Cameron reunites with his returning cast – Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang. Together they discuss the amazing evolution of their characters in Avatar: The Way of Water.
- Pandora’s Next Generation – Meet the talented young newcomers who have been cast as the next generation of Na’vi and follow them through the adventure of making Avatar: The Way of Water.
- Spider’s Web – James Cameron introduced the human character of Spider into the fabric of Pandora – thus creating a host of technological challenges on set…and an incredible journey for the young actor, Jack Champion.
- Becoming Na’vi – The Avatar cast is immersed in the culture of the indigenous Na’vi, living off the land in the Hawaiian rainforest and training in a multitude of disciplines in preparation for their roles.
- The Reef People of Pandora – In true James Cameron-style, the Metkayina reef clan has been developed with great attention to detail, bearing unique evolutionary traits and a culture – with new dwellings, new clothes and different way of life – all a result of living off the ocean.
- Bringing Pandora to Life – Once James Cameron completes his virtual production process, every sequence is turned over to Wētā FX to bring Pandora to life – with unprecedented advancements in facial performance, environments and making CG water look real.
- The RDA Returns to Pandora – Co-production designer Ben Procter and his team present an armada of new vehicles and human technologies that the RDA brings to Pandora – in concept design and with practical builds.
- The New Characters of Pandora – Meet the important new characters of the Avatar saga played by Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell and Jemaine Clement.
- The Sounds of Pandora – Hear how James Cameron worked with composer Simon Franglen to create the distinctive music of The Way of Water while building on James Horner’s brilliant score for Avatar, and learn how Chris Boyes created the immersive sounds of Pandora.
- New Zealand – Pandora’s Home – The production of the Avatar sequels is so thoroughly ensconced in New Zealand that James Cameron considers The Way of Water a “New Zealand film.” Hear reflections from the cast and crew, including the remarkable New Zealand crew, on making the film.
More from Pandora’s Box (Additional featurettes that highlight special teams within the production)
- Casting – Discover the screen tests that won the talented young cast their roles in Avatar: The Way of Water.
- Stunts – The Avatar stunt team isn’t just creating breathtaking action, they’re driving the story. From racing underwater on ilus, flying the skies on ikrans, to maneuvering RDA speed boats, the stunt team leaves you breathless and wanting more.
- The Lab – Explore the Lightstorm Lab, the backbone of virtual production for the Avatar films. Comprised of specialized teams, the Lab builds & supports every aspect of the production – environments, motion edit, Kabuki, sequence, post-viz and software development.
- The Troupe – Avatar’s Troupe is the Swiss Army Knife of acting, while playing dozens of roles on set, in the performance capture volume and on live-action sets, they bring life to Na’vi clans and RDA Recoms. They also play Na’vi-scale puppets on the live-action sets.
Marketing Materials & Music Video (Marketing materials used to build audience awareness of the film)
- Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength) Music Video – Multi-Grammy-winning, music superstar, The Weeknd, performs his emotionally packed end title song in the official music video for the smash hit “Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength).”
- Theatrical Trailers 1 & 2 – Avatar: The Way of Water used two theatrical trailers to engage the audience. The first was a teaser trailer released 7 months before the film. The second was a standard trailer that premiered 5 weeks before the film’s release.