Avatar 2 has a record-breaking runtime of 3 hours and 12 minutes, making it the longest movie of 2022. Although it was long, there are still scenes that didn't make the final cut.
Will Disney Release an Avatar 2 Director's Cut?
At a special preview of the Blu-ray release of Avatar: The Way of Water, via LRM Online, the sequel's producer, Jon Landau, was asked if fans will see deleted scenes in the movie's home release.
Landau responded with "no," pointing out that they "didn't have time" to focus on it:
“So the answer to… in this release, no. We will not see any, but hopefully down the road, we’ll have an opportunity to do it. We, frankly, didn’t have time to focus on that in this window. And in terms of… there was nothing I was sad to see go, because they all went for a reason."
As for Avatar 2's director's cut, Landau confirmed that they will "never" release it:
"And I think that if we ever… So, we’re never going to have the director’s cut. This is the cut of the movie. We just re-released Titanic again and people were like, ‘Oh, you’re going to do a different version.’ No, it’s like, that is the cut."
Still, The Way of Water producer is hopeful that they could showcase "various different stages of the [movie's] finish" in the future:
"But I think down the road, exposing people maybe at various different stages of the finish, why something was trimmed, that makes it interesting. So hopefully, we’ll have an opportunity to do.”
Speaking with Polygon, Landau already reiterated that there are no plans for a longer streaming cut of Avatar: The Way of Water, noting that they "don't have the amount of content to do that."
Moreover, Landau said that he thinks director James Cameron is simply "seizing on opportunities for other stories with two different cuts:"
“I think 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.”
Interestingly, industry insider Jeff Sneider, via CBR, shared that Avatar creator James Cameron is planning to drop the extended nine-hour cut of Avatar 3 as a limited series on Disney+, leading to several fan reactions insisting that they'd sit through the limited series to see the threequel's director's cut.
Why Avatar 2 Doesn’t Need a Director’s Cut
Avatar: The Way of Water's three-hour runtime already managed to tell a complete story while also teasing that there is more to come.
While a longer movie would've fleshed out the narrative even more, the fact that the sequel was successful in telling a complete story is enough reasoning for it not to warrant a director's cut.
In fact, there will be more Avatar movies in the future (three exactly) that could allow James Cameron and his team to incorporate scrapped sequences or ideas from previous films into these films instead.
Still, Cameron, via Polygon, previously expressed his desire to create a movie that is both "six hours long and two and a half hours long," noting that the latter is a "more condensed, roller coaster, immersive version" of the project.
Given that Cameron already shared his interest in such a long cut, it's possible that the rumor about Avatar 3's nine-hour extended cut could be true.
Avatar: The Way of Water is set to release digitally on Tuesday, March 28.