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Avatar: The Way of Water Won't Be Getting a Director's Cut

Sorry, Pandora-heads, you'll just have to be satisfied with James Cameron's three-hour theatrical release.

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Image: 20th Century Studios

While James Cameron might have told Denis Villeneuve in an interview last year that he’d love to see a six-hour cut of his films hit streaming, it doesn’t look like Avatar: The Way of Water is going to be the film that puts him back in the editing chair. That movie is going to stay the full three hours and you will love it.

From last year’s directors on directors interview for Variety, Cameron said, “I think what we can see is an expanded form of cinema. I want to do a movie that’s six hours long and two and a half hours long at the same time. Same movie. You can stream it for six hours, or you can go and have a more condensed, roller coaster, immersive version of that experience in a movie theater. Same movie. Just, one’s the novel, and one’s the movie.”

While this would certainly point to a willingness to make a six-hour Avatar film, executive producer Jon Landau told Polygon that wouldn’t be happening for Avatar 2 or 3, because they simply don’t have enough content to create a cut that long. Regarding the quote, Landau said that he thinks “Jim is seizing on opportunities for other stories with two different cuts—the idea would be that you build a larger, epic narrative that can last six hours, and you pull a two-and-a-half-hour movie out of it.”


But Avatar 3 has already been shot and The Way of Water is already in theaters. There’s really not a lot more that Cameron can do about getting those six-hour cuts to fans. Laundau shut speculation down pretty firmly, practically stating, “We don’t have the amount of content to do that.”

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.