The teaser trailer for Avatar: The Way Of Water (or Avatar 2, if you prefer) was only released online on Monday (May 9), but it has already drummed up waves of excitement.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, and based on figures released by Disney and 20th Century Studios, the 100-second clip featuring snippets of lush aquatic scenery from the long-awaited sequel to James Cameron’s 2009 spectacle snagged 146.8 million views, with 23 million views from China alone, within the first 24 hours of its release.
While the high number of views accounts for Avatar 2’s teaser being posted across a range of YouTube and social media channels, in various languages from Spanish to Tamil, it excludes the millions who would have seen it in cinemas. The teaser was played before Marvel’s Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness, which was released on May 5.
The Avatar sequel sees the return of Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver, with the plot focusing on Worthington’s Jake Sully and Saldana’s Neytiri and their family fighting to protect one another. As Sully says in the trailer, “this family is our fortress”.
New cast members include Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh and Kate Winslet. With Avatar 2, Winslet marks a reunion with Cameron almost 25 years since working with him on 1997’s Titanic.
All the hype surrounding Avatar 2’s upcoming release is understandable: The film – set to be the second of four sequels in Cameron’s planned franchise –has been bogged by delays. Initially meant to be released in 2014, it was pushed back as the technology to film motion-capture scenes underwater was not yet available, while the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted production which wrapped in 2020.
In light of the film’s December release, the original Avatar will be re-released in Singapore cinemas on Sep 22, with restored picture and sound. It’s also currently available on Disney+ for on-demand viewing.