Avatar Is Being Re-Released This Year To Prepare You For Avatar 2 [CinemaCon 2022]

/Film's own Ben Pearson is on the ground at CinemaCon in Las Vegas right now, bringing us news about what's coming to theaters. A whole lot of it involves footage from new and upcoming films, but one announcement during the Disney panel today was about a movie that came out back in 2009. The original "Avatar" film, from director James Cameron, will be re-released in theaters worldwide on September 23, 2022. The news was announced by producer Jon Landau ahead of the world premiere of footage from the long-awaited sequel, "Avatar: The Way of Water" (the new title was announced onstage at CinemaCon). The re-release will include remastered picture and sound for the film.

Landau took to the stage at the panel, telling the crowd that he had flown to Las Vegas from New Zealand, where filming on the "Avatar" sequels is happening, and that he was heading back almost immediately. Landau told the audience at CinemaCon that his parents owned three theaters in Manhattan when he was a kid, and spoke about the special feeling of being a kid and having a giant image fill the screen. He said that he was transported and forgot everything else. That's the feeling they're trying to give audiences with the new films. And whatever you thought of "Avatar" (and I wasn't the biggest fan), you have to admit that seeing it on the big screen was a wild experience.

Travel back to Pandora with the Avatar theater re-release

The re-release is, of course, to get audiences pumped up for "Avatar: The Way of Water," which will hit theaters on December 16, 2022. It's been an awfully long time since the first film, and it does make sense for the original to be fresh in our minds as we journey back to Pandora for the first of four sequels. Even I might be persuaded to watch it again to prepare for what's coming. 

The visual storytelling in the first movie was truly stunning — there is no better word for it. My issues were always about the narrative, not what we saw. It was beautiful, and it absolutely helped change the way cinema looked going forward. Getting to see this with a remastered picture is going to be pretty mind-blowing. This honestly might be the thing that gets holdouts back to the theater (and please be safe when you go, okay?). It will be especially interesting to see how those groundbreaking visuals hold up with the re-release — the technology Cameron used on the first movie has come a long way.

"Avatar: The Way of Water" will hit theaters on December 16, 2022. It's set more than a decade after the last film (so it fits our current timeline), and tells the story of what Sully, Neytiri, and their children are dealing with, how they keep each other safe, their troubles and tragedies, and how they battle them. It's directed by James Cameron, and produced by Cameron and Landau. It stars Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement, Giovanni Ribisi, and Kate Winslet.