Avatar: The Way of the Water fit a lot into its 3-hour and 12-minute runtime, but one heartwrenching scene was left on the cutting room floor.
James Cameron's Avatar franchise continues to be ambitious, both in its scope and impressive visual effects and runtime.
Still, not all scenes manage to make it to the final cut. One adorable sea creature was deleted from the film, and another more substantial ending scene where the Metkayina reunited with their children following the confrontation with Quatrich was also cut.
It turns out that while Cameron aimed to keep the Sully family in the spotlight, some emotional moments still had to be sacrificed in the final product.
Avatar 2 Removed Emotional Ending Scene
ABC's traditional On The Red Carpet featurette revealed that one crucial scene was cut from James Cameron's record-breaking Way of the Water.
Audiences were heartbroken when Neteyam died, and the consequences of his death are likely to be felt throughout subsequent films, with his parents still grieving the passing of their eldest child. Now, it seems that some footage of the grieving family was cut.
Neteyam was the more responsible and self-assured Sully sibling compared to his brother, Lo'ak, who struggled with feelings of inadequacy. Both brothers were close to the human boy Spider, and Neteyam lost his life on a mission to save their childhood friend.
Understandably, the death of Neteyam was significant and will likely play a massive role in subsequent films as Sam Worthington's Jake Sully and the Sully clan grapple with life without their loved one.
Despite this, it seems that Cameron cut down Neyetam's funeral, uniquely showcasing Na'vi burial practices as Neteyam is seemingly laid to rest.
Actress Zoe Saldaña can be seen pouring a bowl of something over Neteyam actor Jamie Flatters.
Unfortunately, while the scene would have likely been a real tearjerker, it's unlikely to see the light of day unless an extended edition of James Cameron's 3-hour epic is on the cards.
Avatar 3: Neteyam’s Legacy Lives On
This deleted scene would have added to the final funeral scene seen in Avatar: The Way of Water, with Neyetam's parents Jake and Neytiri, over their child's body.
It would've pulled at the audience's heartstrings and driven home the importance of family in the Avatar franchise.
Still, even though Neteyam sadly died during a daring mission to save Spider, his legacy will undoubtedly live on as the Avatar franchise continues to grow.
One of the key players in the film was Lo'ak, Neteyam's mischievous younger brother. The death of Neteyam will significantly impact Lo'ak in the future and likely drive his growth as a Na'vi as the franchise goes forward.
While The Way of the Water showcased Lo'ak's insecurity, with Neteyam often stepping in to guide and protect the younger boy, it's now Lo'ak's turn to guide his siblings as he steps into his brother's shoes, and as such, continuing Neteyam's legacy.
Avatar 3 will see the franchise venture into bold new territory. Fans know that the "ash people" will be a considerable part of the sequel, and potentially where the "intra-world villain" teased by Avatar director James Cameron will be found.
However, there's also every chance that Avatar 3, or its many successors, could explore the spirit world.
Since the original Avatar film in 2009, the spirit world and the All-Mother have been important themes that have not been fully explored.
Of course, The Way of the Water illustrated some of it. In Avatar 2, the Sully family was introduced to the Spirit Tree, the Metkayina version of the Tree of Souls. Here, Kiri could see a vision of her mother, Grace, who died in the original Avatar film.
Should Cameron decide to explore the spirit world, Neteyam may return in a future sequel, although only time will tell.
For now, fans will have to wait until Avatar 2 finally makes its way over to Disney+ in due course or catch the record-breaking film before it finally bows out of its extended theatrical run.