Some stunning new concept art for long-awaited sci-fi sequel Avatar 2 has now been released, taking us into the underwater world of Pandora. Depicting one of the native Na'vi riding a mysterious undersea creature, the follow-up promises to explore the wide blue yonder, with the image released in celebration of World Oceans Day.

While more specific plot details for Avatar 2 remain a closely guarded secret, one thing we have known for the longest time about the return to Pandora is that it will be delving into the deep and introduce audiences to the complex and colorful underwater world of the alien planet.

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Aside from this newly released artwork, several images of the underwater filming process have also been released over the last few months. Kate Winslet, who will reunite with director James Cameron for Avatar 2, recently offered some insight into the difficulties of filming, and the efforts being put in by the actors. "I had to learn how to free-dive to play that role in 'Avatar,' and that was just incredible," Winslet said last year. "My longest breath hold was seven minutes and 14 seconds, like crazy, crazy stuff."

Producer Jon Landau has previously revealed a few more details regarding the direction of the Avatar sequel including that the story will focus on "the Sully family and what one does to keep their family together. Jake and Neytiri will have a family in this movie, they are forced to leave their home, they go out and explore the different regions of Pandora, including spending quite a bit of time on the water, around the water, in the water."

As well as offering at least a little detail regarding the sequel's storyline, Landau also explained what he believes is so important about the Avatar franchise and cinema as a whole, especially after the year we've all had. "I think, why do people turn to entertainment today, more so than ever? I think it's to escape, to escape the world we're in, to escape the other pressures they have in their lives," he said.

Released back in 2009, the first Avatar proved to be a huge hit for James Cameron and 20th Century Fox, quickly emerging as a cultural event and becoming the highest grossing movie of all time. While it was eventually pipped for the top spot by 2019's Avengers: Endgame, Avatar did retake the crown recently when it was given a short re-release. Though the sequels are taking a very, very long time to come together, fans of the franchise surely cannot wait to return to Pandora.

Avatar 2 sees cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, CCH Pounder, and Matt Gerald all reprise their roles from the original movie, with Sigourney Weaver returning in a different role. New cast members include Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Oona Chaplin, Vin Diesel, and CJ Jones. Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 have now completed principal filming, and are scheduled to be released on December 16, 2022, and December 20, 2024, respectively. Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 meanwhile are scheduled to be released on December 18, 2026, and December 22, 2028.

Avatar 2 concept art