The official trailer is finally here for the long-awaited "Avatar" sequel, "Avatar: The Way of Water."
The trailer, which dropped Wednesday morning, takes fans back to Pandora, 12 years after the first film with Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) and their family as they navigate a changing world and work to protect the Na'vi and their planet.
It also shares a preview of Sigourney Weaver's new character, Kiri, who is the adopted daughter of Jake and Neytiri. Weaver's character from the original movie, Dr. Grace Augustine, died at the end of that film.
James Cameron returns as writer, director and producer for the highly anticipated follow-up to his Oscar-winning and box office-smashing 2009 film. For the second film in the franchise, releasing 13 years after the first, he reunited with co-producer Jon Landau and shares screenplay credit with Josh Friedman.
Read on to learn everything we know so far about "Avatar: The Way of Water."
What is "Avatar: The Way of Water" about?
According to the official synopsis from 20th Century Studios, "Avatar: The Way of Water" is set "more than a decade" after the events of "Avatar."
The sequel "begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive and the tragedies they endure."
When is "Avatar: The Way of Water" out in theaters?
"Avatar: The Way of Water" will open in U.S. theaters on Dec. 16.
A brief refresher on the first "Avatar" film
The first "Avatar" film introduced viewers to Pandora, where the Na'vi, a race of blue creatures who share a special connection with their planet, live. Humans, in the year 2154, are able to traverse the alien environment by connecting their minds to the bodies of an Avatar. Among the humans is Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paraplegic Marine who regains the ability to move when connected to the Avatar. While interacting with the Na'vi, Jake falls in love with one named Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). As they become closer, he must help Neytiri and the other Na'vi protect their planet from a group of humans that wishes to exploit Pandora's natural resources.
"Avatar" was a box office juggernaut and is still the top-grossing film of all time worldwide, having earned more than $2.8 billion. It is also currently the fourth highest-grossing film domestically.
The film won three Academy Awards -- best cinematography, best visual effects and best art direction -- out of the nine Oscars it was nominated for, including best picture.
Who's in the "Avatar: The Way of Water" cast?
Worthington and Saldana lead the cast of "Avatar: The Way of Water," reprising their characters, Jake Sully and Neytiri, from the first film.
Joining them will be Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement and Kate Winslet, among others.
Wait, how is Sigourney Weaver back for the sequel?
Fans of "Avatar" may be wondering how Sigourney Weaver will be part of the "Avatar: The Way of Water" cast since her character, Dr. Grace Augustine, the head of the Avatar program on Pandora, died in the first film.
According to IMDb, the actress will be playing a character named Kiri this time. Weaver teased that her new character is "goofy," telling Interview magazine this role is "the biggest stretch" of a role she's ever played.
How long will "Avatar: The Way of Water" be?
While the first "Avatar" film clocked in at 162 minutes (2 hours and 42 minutes) for its theatrical cut, Cameron told Empire magazine the second one's runtime is around three hours long.
The filmmaker told the publication he didn't want "anybody whining about the length" of the film when it's commonplace for people to binge-watch television shows these days. "Here's the big social paradigm shift that has to happen: It's OK to get up and go pee," he said.
Will there be an "Avatar 3"?
Yes, a third "Avatar" film is coming and is slated for release on Dec. 20, 2024. Filming for "Avatar 3" -- which currently has no official title -- was done simultaneously with "Avatar: The Way of Water."
Will there be an "Avatar 4"?
Yes, a fourth "Avatar" film has been announced and is slated for release on Dec. 18, 2026.
Will there be an "Avatar 5"?
Yes, a fifth "Avatar" film has been announced and is slated for release on Dec. 22, 2028.
Where can I watch "Avatar"?
"Avatar" is available to stream on Disney+.
What other films has James Cameron directed?
Cameron's feature directorial debut came in 1982 with "Piranha II: The Spawning," but that film pales in comparison to what followed. In the subsequent years, the filmmaker released "The Terminator" (1984), "Alien" (1986), "The Abyss" (1989), "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991), "True Lies" (1994) and "Titanic" (1997) prior to "Avatar."
Cameron also has major credits as a writer, producer and editor. He won three Academy Awards for "Titanic": best picture, best director and best film editing.
20th Century Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of this ABC station.
ABC Owned TV Stations contributed to this report.