‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ is sailing to success at the box office. On Wednesday, the film stood at domestic haul of $337.8 million and an International total of $762.8 million, and by the end of Thursday, it will have earned more than $1.1 billion, making it the second biggest hit of 2022, after ‘Top Gun: Maverick’.
Which means it must be time for the rumored titles of the movies, which surfaced way back in 2019 during the ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ (which Cameron co-wrote and produced) press tour.
Those titles? ‘Avatar: The Seed Bearer,’ ‘Avatar: The Tulkun Rider,’ and ‘Avatar: The Quest for Eywa’. It’s worth noting that while Cameron later said that the titles were “under consideration” and far from certain, ‘The Way of Water’ was listed among them as the second film.
Given the developments in ‘The Way of Water’, including that the Earth is worse off even than when it was portrayed in the 2009 original movie and revelations about teenage character Kiri’s (Sigourney Weaver) connections to mystical, powerful tree Eywa, it’s perhaps telling that ‘Seed Bearer’ and the tree’s name itself feature in potential future titles. The Tulkun, meanwhile, are the whale-like creatures from ‘The Way of Water’.
We’ll have to wait and see whether the names change completely or shift slightly closer to each movie’s release. Whether it ends up titled ‘The Seed Bearer’ or something else, the third Avatar movie will be in theaters on December 20th, 2024.
Further forward we’ve learned a tiny nugget about the fifth film from producer Jon Landau. “I wasn’t going to talk about it, but I’ve now subsequently heard that Jim has talked about it a little bit,” Landau told IGN. In movie five there is a section of the story where we go to Earth. And we go to it to open people’s eyes, open Neytiri’s eyes, to what exists on Earth.”
It’s worth a mention that in the same interview, Landau shot down the other titles. “We have decided on titles, but I would not go by those other three titles that were out there,” he said. “You know, if you roll the dice one in six times, you’ll pick the right number.”
To turn attention back for a moment to where we currently stand, ‘The Way of Water’, and co-writer/director Cameron has been talking about what didn’t make the final cut in the latest film. Turns out it was some of the violence in the movie.
“I actually cut about 10 minutes of the movie targeting gunplay action,” Cameron told Esquire Middle East. “I wanted to get rid of some of the ugliness, to find a balance between light and dark. You have to have conflict, of course. Violence and action are the same thing, depending on how you look at it. This is the dilemma of every action filmmaker, and I’m known as an action filmmaker.”
It is certainly a surprising sentiment coming from a man whose movie characters have mown down many in their time, but he has certainly switch perspective in the intervening years. “I look back on some films that I’ve made, and I don’t know if I would want to make that film now. I don’t know if I would want to fetishize the gun, like I did on a couple of ‘Terminator’ movies 30-plus years ago, in our current world. What’s happening with guns in our society turns my stomach.” Hasta la vista, weapons.