Will Avatar 2 Cause Depression In Fans Of The First Film?

The first Avatar triggered depression in some people that wanted to badly visit Pandora; in interviews, those same fans say that they are looking forward to the sequel.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

avatar 2

Post-Avatar depression was a very real thing that affected people after the first film was released in 2009. The awe-inspiring locales of Pandora and the peaceful way of life of the Na’vi people had some viewers longing for that world instead of reality. With the impending release of Avatar 2 on the horizon, Variety featured some comments from members of the Avatar fan community Kelutral who said, “There’s always that little bit of concern that it might trigger me again.”

However, the Avatar fans that Variety interviewed are looking forward to the release of Avatar 2, as many of them have addressed their depression and sought help for it since the release of the original movie. There are undoubtedly concerns that Avatar: The Way of Water could bring a new wave of post-Avatar depression, but perhaps retreading old ground will make it easier this time around. After all, the first film was one of the most immersive theater-going experiences many people had ever witnessed at the time.

Although James Cameron has once again pushed visual effects forward for Avatar 2, it’s not the massive jump in spectacle that we saw in the first film. People are more used to high-quality visual effects and 3D than they were back then. While Avatar: The Way of Water will likely be just as immersive, there’s hope that it will end up being nothing but a positive, fun experience for attendees — rather than a trigger for depression.

Avatar 2 picks up the story a decade after the original, with Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) raising a family of their own in Pandora. When a familiar threat returns to endanger their way of life, they are forced to once again protect their home from outside forces. Along with Worthington and Saldana, the film also stars Stephen Lang, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Giovanni Ribisi, Dileep Rao, Matt Gerald, Sigourney Weaver, Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement, and Brendan Cowell.

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Pandora in Avatar 2

So far, reviews of Avatar 2 have been positive, so it looks like the film will be another immersive return to Pandora. James Cameron will need all the good press he can get because the film has a lot of ground to cover if it’s going to be a financial success. Just to break even, Avatar: The Way of Water will need to become the fourth highest-grossing film of all time.

For most directors, a movie that runs for over three hours likely wouldn’t be able to achieve this goal. But James Cameron and the Avatar franchise already shattered box office expectations in 2009 when the first film became the highest-grossing movie of all time. Landing in the third-place spot for highest-grossing films is Cameron’s Titanic, so Avatar 2 could very well surpass the lofty goal that is set before it.

The general public doesn’t have much longer to wait to see the return of Pandora with their own eyes. You can see Avatar 2 in theaters this weekend. The world is certainly watching to see if James Cameron can do it again and if the return to Pandora was worth the 13-year wait.