Entertainment Movies Remastered 'Avatar' Returning to Theaters Ahead of Sequel' The Way of the Water' 's December Debut The first footage of the long-awaited sequel to the 2009 blockbuster was shown at CinemaCon on Wednesday By Julia Moore Julia Moore Twitter Julia Moore is a digital news writer at PEOPLE. She recently received a Bachelor's in in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and has been an avid PEOPLE reader for years. People Editorial Guidelines and Lauren Huff Lauren Huff Writer and lover of movies, TV, awards season, and Taylor Swift for EW and EW.com People Editorial Guidelines Published on April 27, 2022 03:09 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Zoe Saldaña in Avatar (2009). Photo: Disney Avatar is approaching. A teaser trailer for the long-awaited sequel to the 2009 Oscar-winning movie was shown during Disney's CinemaCon showcase in Las Vegas on Wednesday. Avatar: The Way of the Water is scheduled to hit theaters Dec. 16, and the teaser trailer will exclusively accompany Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in theaters when the Marvel movie debuts Friday, May 6. Directed again by James Cameron, the second Avatar is set over a decade after the first movie. The cast includes Zoe Saldaña, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement, Giovanni Ribisi and Kate Winslet. Zoe Saldaña Says She 'Was Moved to Tears' Watching Footage from Avatar 2: 'I Was Speechless' The film is about the Sully family — Jake (Worthington), Neytiri (Saldaña) and their children — and 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," per a press release. In the lead-up to the sequel, a remastered version of the original Avatar will be re-released into theaters again on Sept. 23. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. As previously reported, the third film is expected to debut Dec. 20, 2024, with a fourth slated for 2026 and a fifth for 2028. Producer Jon Landau said at the presentation, "Each sequel will play out as a standalone movie. Each story will come to its own conclusion. Each movie will deliver the audience fulfilling emotional resolutions, in each and every film. However, when looked at as a whole, the journey across all four movies will create an even larger, connected epic saga." Cameron, 67, added in a message during the event, "We wanted our return to Pandora to be something really special. Every shot was designed for the biggest screen, the highest resolution, the most immersive 3D available, to once again push the limits of what cinema can do." The Titanic director has been vocal about the challenges of returning to the iconic sci-fi world. "It's just too much pressure, dude," he told Jimmy Fallon in 2021. He has also called the sequels "a big roll of the dice." "The big issue is: Are we going to make any damn money? Big, expensive films have got to make a lot of money," Cameron told Entertainment Weekly in December. "We're in a new world post-COVID, post-streaming. Maybe those [box office] numbers will never be seen again. Who knows?"