One could be forgiven for thinking, after 13 years, that an Avatar sequel would never see the light of day. James Cameron went off did other things; he moved to New Zealand, he experimented with farming, he might never have come back to movies. Then he said he was returning to make more Avatar movies — four of them! — but they kept getting pushed back. Year after year, the promised sequels got delayed over and over. A lot of people gave up hope.
Well, the first of four potential sequels, Avatar: The Way of Water, is finally scheduled to come to theaters next month. And one indication that this movie really is happening this time is that it just received its official ratting from the MPAA. They rated The Way of Water PG-13 “for sequences of strong violence and intense action, partial nudity and some strong language.”
That matches the PG-13 rating that the original Avatar received — although it was rated for somewhat different reasons. In that case, Cameron got a PG-13 for “intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking.”
So how do the two films differ? Well, for one thing, you’re not going to see anyone smoking onscreen in The Way of Water. (You almost never see anyone smoking in American movies anymore, unless it is some kind of a period piece, and even then, it’s rare.) Both movies have violence, but Avatar had “epic battle sequences” while The Way of Water apparently only has “strong violence” and “intense action,” suggesting the set-pieces may be a little more intimate (and a little less like a sci-fi war movie) than the last time. And while the original Avatar had “sensuality” this one supposedly has “partial nudity.” Make of that what you will.
Avatar: The Way of Water is scheduled to open in theaters on December 16.