Avatar 2’s Final Cut Isn’t Finished Yet, Runtime Reportedly Over 3 Hours

Avatar: The Way of Water’s final cut is reportedly unfinished, while also boasting a runtime of over three hours long. Released in 2009, the original science-fiction fantasy adventure wowed critics and audiences with striking visuals coupled with a tried-and-true story that resonated with moviegoers all over the world. Following an impressive run in theaters, Avatar accumulated over $2.8 billion at the box office making the movie the highest-grossing film of all time. After 13 years, Cameron finally brings the beautiful planet of Pandora back to the big screen with four sequels, the first being Avatar: The Way of the Water hitting theaters on December 16.

Set over a decade after the Na’vi’s rebellion against the Resources Development Administration, Avatar: The Way of the Water will focus on ex-Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and his Na’vi partner Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) as they fight for the survival of their family. Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang were also announced as returning to the franchise, despite their characters dying in the first film. Weaver is slated to play Kiri, Jake and Neytiri’s adoptive teenage Na’vi daughter, while Lang will reprise his role as Colonel Miles Quaritch.

A new report from Deadline states that Avatar: The Way of Water’s runtime is expected to clock in over three hours long, making the sequel at least 20 minutes longer than its predecessor. The report comes on the heels of a previous rumor floating from an international publication stating the film will be three hours and 10 minutes long, which sources indicate is not an accurate number, as no final runtime has been decided. Additionally, sources have confirmed to Screen Rant that Avatar: The Way of Water’s final cut has yet to be completed, thus having no such runtime.

Is A 3-Hour+ Runtime The Right Choice for Avatar 2?

Cameron is also known for Titanic, a disaster film that features a sweeping love story on a grand scale, which boasted a runtime of three hours and 15 minutes and went on to achieve $1.8 billion at the box office, making it the highest-grossing film of that year and, for a while, of all-time. Titanic’s success shows that audiences are not swayed by a film’s runtime if they are captured by its storytelling. Additionally, with the original Avatar still maintaining the ranking of highest-grossing film of all-time with re-releases pitting it against Avengers: Endgame, Cameron’s ability to captivate audiences at that length before makes it likely he may be able to do it again.

Since Avatar: The Way of Water will not only be picking up a story over a decade after its predecessor left off, but setting up three additional sequels, the film will need to do a lot of work to prepare audiences for what is to come. The original Avatar’s runtime came in at two hours and 42 minutes, a duration that proved comfortable for audiences worldwide, although bladders may have been full. With Avatar: The Way of Water at least 20 minutes longer, audience may have to make a difficult decision when choosing drinks at the concession stand.