Disney+ Just Edited Avatar to Add Footage Setting Up the Sequel

By Klein Felt Updated:
Avatar 1 Disney+ logo

An edit to James Cameron's orignal cut of Avatar has been made on Disney+, including a pretty lame sequel tease. 

Cameron's record-breaking sci-fi series is back in the conversation, as Avatar: The Way of Water comes to streaming after making history in an extended box office run

What started as a single blockbuster back in 2009 has become one of the biggest franchises in the world with at least three more sequels on the way, including one that is set to hit theaters by the end of next year.

Despite becoming a multi-film mega-franchise, that first Avatar movie felt fairly stand-alone at the time, wrapping its story up nicely with very little in terms of teases for anything going forward.

An Unneeded Avatar Edit

1 Avatar
20th Century Pictures

Fans spotted an edit that has been made to the closing moments of 2009's Avatar on Disney+. 

The final sequence which sees Sam Worthington's Jake Sully (in Avatar form) along with the other Na'vi escorting the remaining humans off Pandora now has been extended from the original theatrical cut to feature a lame tease for the Avatar sequels. 

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20th Centruy Pictures

While before, the scene (which appears at the 2:32:45 mark of the movie) simply saw the humans making their way onto ships, the new version is a seemingly cut sequence that sees Giovanni Ribisi's Parker Selfridge walk up to Zoe Saldana's Neytiri and Worthington's Jake and say "You know this isn’t over" before the Na'vi gesture for Selfridge to keep walking. 

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20th Century Pictures

What makes this change particularly cheesy is the fact that fans have now seen the sequel this tease was setting up, and Selfridge did not factor into it at all. Other than a brief cameo in Avatar 2, Ribisi's Avatar villain doesn't play into the plot of the sequel at all. 

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20th Century Pictures

It has been reported that Selfdrige will play a part in the rest of the Avatar sequels. But the fact that, up to this point, all audiences have seen is The Way of Water, makes this change feel incredibly unnecessary. 

What Was this Avatar Change?

The world of streaming has opened up a bit of a Pandora's Box when it comes to changes such as this, with studios and creators able to go in and adjust just about anything whenever they want. 

This is not the first time a Disney project has been caught altering something on its streamer, but it might be the lamest. 

Yes, Avatar was not made with the knowledge that sequels were going to be a 100% sure thing, so there was no active effort to tease things that may come up later.

But now that James Cameron's Pandoran epic has become a franchise, that does not mean there is a need to go back and throw in these sorts of scenes that would better belong in a director's cut or one of the many Avatar theatrical re-releases. 

This is especially true because what came next had nothing to do with the character vowing his revenge on the Sully clan. 

Changes such as this could set a scary precedent. No longer will a movie's final cut mean anything with the ability to go in whenever a creator or studio (like Disney) sees fit. 

Locking a film before its theatrical or streaming debut should mean something. If years down the line the filmmaker wants to release a separate director's cut, then let them, but that does not mean it is okay to find all the digital versions of that movie and expunge the original for that edited version.

A cliffhanger that goes on to never be answered is frustrating enough, but one that could have been avoided entirely if Disney and/or James Cameron had just left Avatar alone is downright ridiculous.

Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water are available to stream now on Disney+. 

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.