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Buckle Up: James Cameron Says ‘Avatar 2’ Will Be Long as Hell

Some blue guy in Avatar 2

It’s been 13 years since audiences saw James Cameron’s epic adventure Avatar in theaters, which rose through the ranks to become the highest grossing film of all time. And after promising multiple sequels to the film, Avatar: The Way of Water is finally coming to theaters this December. And buckle up, because the sequel is set to be just as long, if not longer, than its predecessor. Avatar clocked in at 162 minutes, and while the sequel’s runtime has yet to be released, director James Cameron is warning audiences to prepare for an epic runtime.

In an interview with Empire, Cameron says “I don’t want anybody whining about length when they sit and binge-watch [television] for eight hours … I can almost write this part of the review. ‘The agonisingly long three-hour movie…’ It’s like, give me a f—— break. I’ve watched my kids sit and do five one-hour episodes in a row.”

And he has a point: how many of us binge-watched the final two chapters of Stranger Things, which combined clocked in at nearly 4 hours? But of course, binge-watching at home comes with all sorts of benefits, like pausing to go pee/make a snack/resume later. Movie audiences don’t have such luxuries, which make screenings of 3-hour epics like The Batman awfully hard on the bladder. And as someone who was pregnant when Avengers: Endgame came out, I can confirm that the struggle is definitely real.

Related: How Long Did It Take to Make Avatar 2: The Way of Water? on The Escapist

But Cameron has an obvious note for those who need to go to the bathroom. Just go pee already. “Here’s the big social paradigm shift that has to happen: it’s okay to get up and go pee,” he quipped. Cameron also revealed that while Avatar 2 and 3 have finished filming (they were shot back to back), he may not return to direct 4 and 5.

“The Avatar films themselves are kind of all-consuming,” Cameron said. “I’ve got some other things I’m developing as well that are exciting. I think eventually over time – I don’t know if that’s after three or after four – I’ll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over, so I can go do some other stuff that I’m also interested in. Or maybe not. I don’t know.”

Cameron added, “Everything I need to say about family, about sustainability, about climate, about the natural world, the themes that are important to me in real life and in my cinematic life, I can say on this canvas, … I got more excited as I went along. Movie four is a corker. It’s a motherfucker. I actually hope I get to make it. But it depends on market forces. Three is in the can so it’s coming out regardless. I really hope that we get to make four and five because it’s one big story, ultimately.”

Avatar: The Way of Water hits theaters December 16, 2022.

(via SlashFilm, featured image: screencap/20th Century Studios)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, son, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.