Disney and 20th Century Studios have announced that Avatar: The Way of Water will debut on 4K UHD, Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD on June 20, 2023, while the original Avatar, which received a remaster last year, will arrive for the first time on 4K UHD in High Dynamic Range to digital retailers and Blu-ray disc on that very same date. According to a list of specifications that 20th Century Studios sent out to AVS Forum and other outlets, the 4K Ultra HD versions of Avatar: The Way of Water and Avatar are being delivered on 100 GB Blu-rays, enabling average bit rates of up to 60.5 Mbps for the definitive home viewing experience. Other key technical features include a 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos track, although Dolby Vision doesn’t seem to be listed anywhere.
Avatar: The Way of Water 4K UHD Blu-ray Specifications
- 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital Code)
- Disc Size: 100 GB
- Bit Rate Actuals: 45 ABR
- Audio: English 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 DTS-HDMA, English 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 7.1 Dolby Digital
Avatar: The Way of Water Bonus Features
Inside Pandora’s Box (A series of featurettes on the challenges facing cast and crew as filmmakers devise new technologies to push the limits of cinema)
- Building the World of Pandora – James Cameron and a team of talented artists combine years of research with their design skills to build the world of Pandora with new characters, creatures, indigenous clans, underwater environments and the take-no-prisoners hard-tech world of the RDA.
- Capturing Pandora – James Cameron’s approach to performance capture has the cast performing in a volume rigged with infrared cameras to capture their movement, and head rig cameras to capture emotion on their faces with only the boundaries of imagination to limit them.
- The Undersea World of Pandora – Co-production designer Dylan Cole and his team conceive of the marine creatures required for Avatar: The Way of Water while James Cameron and his stunt team devise extraordinary means to bring those creatures to life in a performance capture tank.
- The Challenges of Pandora’s Waters – James Cameron tackles the “non-trivial challenge” of performance capture above and below the water’s surface, utilizing a wave machine and current generator to reproduce ocean conditions, and underwater vehicles to replicate creature movement.
- Pandora’s Returning Characters – James Cameron reunites with his returning cast – Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang. Together they discuss the amazing evolution of their characters in Avatar: The Way of Water.
- Pandora’s Next Generation – Meet the talented young newcomers who have been cast as the next generation of Na’vi and follow them through the adventure of making Avatar: The Way of Water.
- Spider’s Web – James Cameron introduced the human character of Spider into the fabric of Pandora – thus creating a host of technological challenges on set…and an incredible journey for the young actor, Jack Champion.
- Becoming Na’vi – The Avatar cast is immersed in the culture of the indigenous Na’vi, living off the land in the Hawaiian rainforest and training in a multitude of disciplines in preparation for their roles.
- The Reef People of Pandora – In true James Cameron-style, the Metkayina reef clan has been developed with great attention to detail, bearing unique evolutionary traits and a culture – with new dwellings, new clothes and different way of life – all a result of living off the ocean.
- Bringing Pandora to Life – Once James Cameron completes his virtual production process, every sequence is turned over to Wētā FX to bring Pandora to life – with unprecedented advancements in facial performance, environments and making CG water look real.
- The RDA Returns to Pandora – Co-production designer Ben Procter and his team present an armada of new vehicles and human technologies that the RDA brings to Pandora – in concept design and with practical builds.
- The New Characters of Pandora – Meet the important new characters of the Avatar saga played by Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell and Jemaine Clement.
- The Sounds of Pandora – Hear how James Cameron worked with composer Simon Franglen to create the distinctive music of The Way of Water while building on James Horner’s brilliant score for Avatar, and learn how Chris Boyes created the immersive sounds of Pandora.
- New Zealand – Pandora’s Home – The production of the Avatar sequels is so thoroughly ensconced in New Zealand that James Cameron considers The Way of Water a “New Zealand film.” Hear reflections from the cast and crew, including the remarkable New Zealand crew, on making the film.
More from Pandora’s Box (Additional featurettes that highlight special teams within the production)
- Casting – Discover the screen tests that won the talented young cast their roles in Avatar: The Way of Water.
- Stunts – The Avatar stunt team isn’t just creating breathtaking action, they’re driving the story. From racing underwater on ilus, flying the skies on ikrans, to maneuvering RDA speed boats, the stunt team leaves you breathless and wanting more.
- The Lab – Explore the Lightstorm Lab, the backbone of virtual production for the Avatar films. Comprised of specialized teams, the Lab builds & supports every aspect of the production – environments, motion edit, Kabuki, sequence, post-viz and software development.
- The Troupe – Avatar’s Troupe is the Swiss Army Knife of acting, while playing dozens of roles on set, in the performance capture volume and on live-action sets, they bring life to Na’vi clans and RDA Recoms. They also play Na’vi-scale puppets on the live-action sets.
Marketing Materials & Music Video (Marketing materials used to build audience awareness of the film)
- Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength) Music Video – Multi-Grammy-winning, music superstar, The Weeknd, performs his emotionally packed end title song in the official music video for the smash hit “Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength).”
- Theatrical Trailers 1 & 2 – Avatar: The Way of Water used two theatrical trailers to engage the audience. The first was a teaser trailer released 7 months before the film. The second was a standard trailer that premiered 5 weeks before the film’s release.
Avatar 4K UHD Blu-ray Specifications
- 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital Code)
- Disc Size: 100 GB
- Bit Rate Actuals: 60.5 ABR
- Audio: English 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos, English 2.0 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 DTS-HDMA, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
Avatar Bonus Features
Memories from Avatar: Producer Jon Landau leads a spirited conversation with cast members, Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang, recalling warm memories from production and reflecting on the extraordinary success of Avatar.
Avatar: A Look Back: In this retrospective, cast and filmmakers reflect on their extraordinary journey making Avatar, the groundbreaking technologies they used to create an unparalleled cinematic experience, and the profound effect the film had on audiences worldwide.
Capturing Avatar: Journey with James Cameron and crew in this feature-length documentary, as they embark on a film the likes of which the world had never seen.
- Part One – After years of testing, research and design, James Cameron’s tackled Avatar, “the most complex film” in his storied career.
- Part Two – Actors and technology are pushed to the limit as James Cameron pushes the boundaries of a groundbreaking, new filmmaking paradigm.
- Part Three – James Cameron used ground-breaking technology to merge the virtual and live-action elements of his film.
- Part Four – The edit room became ground zero as music, sound and visual effects were finalized in order to make the film’s release date.
Featurettes: Take a closer look at the creation of Pandora and the making of Avatar with featurettes on key aspects of production design, performance capture, and the post-production process.
- Sculpting Avatar – Explore how clay maquettes were sculpted to help bring Avatar’s characters and creatures to life.
- Creating the Banshee – Discover all that went into designing the Banshees, high-flying predators of the Pandoran sky.
- Creating the Thanator – James Cameron and team reveal how the most terrifying beast in the Pandoran rain forest was brought to the screen.
- The AMP Suit – Explore the design of the AMP (Amplified Mobility Platform) and discover why it was the perfect weapon for Colonel Quaritch.
- Flying Vehicles – Explore the design of the RDA’s gunships and how they helped ground the story in a realistic world audiences could connect to.
- Na’vi Costumes – Discover the costumes of Avatar and why it was essential to create real-world costumes for characters that were seen only in a virtual world.
- Speaking Na’vi – Delve into the complex Na’vi language created for Avatar, and the challenging task for the cast who had to speak it.
- Pandora Flora – Explore the science behind the Pandoran rainforest, including the exotic plants and bioluminescence.
- Stunts – James Cameron and Avatar’s stunt coordinators discuss how they learned to move like a Na’vi, ride a Leonopteryx, and more.
- Performance Capture – Discover how the actors’ actions, emotions and spirit were captured in performance and transferred to a virtual character.
- Virtual Camera – Discover the virtual camera system that allowed James Cameron to apply camera angles, lighting and movement to his scenes long after the performance capture phase was completed.
- The 3D Fusion Camera – Explore the newly designed 3D Fusion camera system which enabled the filmmakers to create an immersive stereographic experience.
- The Simul-Cam – See how the newly created Simul-Cam seamlessly integrated the virtual world with the live action camera, allowing Jake’s avatar to appear in a scene with real-world actors.
- Editing Avatar – James Cameron and the film’s editors reveal the unique challenges they faced editing Avatar, and the benefits of “learning as you go”.
- Scoring Avatar – Composer James Horner and James Cameron discuss how Avatar’s score was grounded in the familiar while evoking a breathtaking new world.
- Sound Design – Explore the sounds of Pandora, including the Banshee, Direhorse and Thanator, as well as the near-future engineering sounds of the Dragon, Scorpion and more.
- The Haka: The Spirit of New Zealand – On the final day of production, the New Zealand stuntmen honored James Cameron with a traditional Haka dance.
From a 20th Century Studios press release:
The 4K UHD edition of the original Avatar has both existing and new bonus features including “Memories From Avatar,” where Producer Jon Landau leads a spirited conversation with cast members, Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang, recalling warm memories from production and reflecting on the extraordinary success of the film. Plus “Avatar: A Look Back,” provides a retrospective where cast and filmmakers reflect on their extraordinary journey making Avatar, the groundbreaking technologies they used to create an unparalleled cinematic experience, and the profound effect the film had on audiences worldwide.
Nominated for numerous Academy Awards including Best Picture, Avatar: The Way of Water became the third highest-grossing film of all time worldwide and set a new benchmark for visual effects. Produced by Cameron and his longtime partner Jon Landau, the 20th Century Studios-Lightstorm Entertainment production stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis and Kate Winslet. Joining the illustrious adult cast are talented newcomers Britain Dalton, Jamie Flatters, Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, Bailey Bass and Jack Champion. The screenplay is by James Cameron & Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, with story by James Cameron & Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver & Josh Friedman & Shane Salerno. David Valdes and Richard Baneham serve as the film’s executive producers.
The original Academy Award-winning Avatar introduced the astonishing world of Pandora and became the highest-grossing film of all time earning over $2.9 billion worldwide and receiving nine Academy Awards nominations including Best Picture and Best Director. It won three Oscars, for Best Cinematography, Production Design and Visual Effects.