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How Is Avatar's Rerelease Different From The Original?

Anticipation among "Avatar" fans is growing as we get closer to the release of "Avatar: The Way of Water," the long-awaited sequel to the 2009 sci-fi blockbuster directed and written by James Cameron, and Cameron is helping build that anticipation by rereleasing "Avatar" in theaters.

The Academy Award-winning film follows Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paraplegic marine who is sent to Pandora to learn everything he can about the Na'vi who inhabit the planet and a portion of land that the Resources Development Administration is planning to take over to harvest unobtainium, a valuable mineral that's worth millions. But Jake's mission takes an unexpected turn when he falls in love with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), a member of the Na'vi tribe. During their time together, Jake develops a deep appreciation for Na'vi culture and eventually becomes a member of the tribe himself.

It turns out, the rerelease not only gives new fans a chance to experience this epic tale on the big screen but also gives longtime fans a chance to relive the excitement. And according to Cameron, there are a few differences that will stand out to those longtime fans.

The big differences that fans can see and hear

James Cameron and his team are using the rerelease to give "Avatar" a technological boost, making sure that the big-screen experience is even better the second time around (via Collider). During the D23 Expo, Cameron explained that moviegoers will have a richer audio experience with the upgrade to 9.1 sound, and some scenes have been adjusted to 48 frames-per-second instead of the traditional 24 frames-per-second. According to MasterClass, the switch to 48 frames-per-second can prevent flickers and strobing, among other issues.

Cameron told Entertainment Weekly that he recently watched the remastered film on the big screen in 3D and was in awe of the end result. "It's remastered in 4K, it's remastered in an Atmos 9.1 sound, which wasn't available at the time. We judiciously used high frame rates to smooth out some of the 3D. So it looks better than I've ever seen it. I was sitting there going, 'We did that? Wow'," he said.

While special and extended cuts of the original film are available on Blu-ray, Collider reports that the theatrical cut is the version that's currently on the big screen. And fans who attend the rerelease will reportedly be treated to new footage from "Avatar: The Way of Water" ahead of its premiere on December 16. The remastered "Avatar" is now playing in theaters for a limited time.