Disney unveils first Avatar sequel footage, Latest Movies News - The New Paper

Disney unveils first Avatar sequel footage

LAS VEGAS (AFP) - Disney on Wednesday (April 27) unveiled the first trailer from Avatar: The Way Of Water, a long-delayed sequel to the highest-earning movie of all time, which James Cameron said aims to "push the limits of what cinema can do."

CinemaCon attendees in Las Vegas were invited to don 3D glasses and return to Pandora, with brief footage showing Na'vi characters swimming beneath the planet's oceans and soaring through its skies.

"I can assure you it's been well worth the wait," said Disney distribution chief Tony Chambers, confirming the film's name.

Producer Jon Landau introduced the footage from the film, which will be released in December and is the first of four planned sequels to the US$2.8 billion-grossing original from 2009.

Each sequel will be a standalone movie with its own "emotional resolution" rather than a serialised arc, but will collectively make up an "even larger, connected epic saga," said Landau.

Cameron addressed CinemaCon from New Zealand, where finishing touches are being put in place on "Avatar 2."

He promised giant technological leaps forward from the original, whose main characters Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) now have a family.

"We set out once again to push the limits of what cinema can do," said Cameron, introducing the first trailer.

To reacquaint audiences with Pandora nearly 13 years after the smash hit original, which sparked a 3D wave in Hollywood, the first Avatar will be re-released in September.

A still from the 2009 movie Avatar, starring Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana. SINGTEL FILE PHOTO

Movie theatre bosses are gathering at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for their annual meeting, where Hollywood studios bring fresh footage and A-list stars to court the industry.

Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige kicked off the Disney presentation, telling attendees that planning for "the next decade" of the record-grossing superhero films was well under way.

Attendees also got an extended look at Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, which is out next week, with plot twists tightly under wrap.

Footage showed Benedict Cumberbatch's sorcerer battling an extra-terrestrial floating octopus, encountering a universe-hopping teenage girl, and attending his ex's wedding.

It will be followed by two more Marvel films this year - Thor and Black Panther.

Pixar showed off 30 minutes of Lightyear, an origin story for the beloved astronaut from Toy Story, voiced by Chris Evans.

The movie, out in June, finds Buzz racked with guilt after marooning his crew of space rangers on a hostile alien planet.

In his bid to save them, he is forced to travel into the future - aided by a cute robotic cat.

Also on show was Amsterdam, an "original romantic crime epic" from David O. Russell starring Christian Bale, Robert De Niro, Margot Robbie and Chris Rock among an A-list ensemble.

The 1930s period piece about three friends who "find themselves at the centre of one of the most shocking secret plots in American history," which purports to be partially based on true events, comes out in November.

CinemaCon runs until Thursday.