This truly brings new meaning to the phrase “the way of water.”

Calling James Cameron’s Avatar sequels “epic” would be an understatement and a half. Cameron isn’t just making one or two of these movies; he’s producing four more Avatars basically simultaneously. And he‘s been developing them in some form or another since not long after the original Avatar opened in theaters back in 2009. Everything about this franchise is big.

And that apparently includes their runtimes. Cameron is already warning people that the first of these sequels, Avatar: The Way of Water, is going to be really long — and he doesn’t want to hear any “whining” about it.

“Here’s the big social paradigm shift that has to happen,” he said in an interview with Empire, “it’s okay to get up and go pee.”

Nobody likes to be told not to whine, but you know what? James Cameron is right? People routinely binge half a season of television (or more!) in a day. How many of you reading this right now watched the final two episodes of Stranger Things Season 4 on Friday in one sitting? Well, those two episodes were almost four hours all by themselves. And we didn’t see a lot of people kvetching that they had too much Stranger Things to watch. No! They were psyched that there was so much Stranger Things to watch. It is strange that no one treats long movies this same way.

Of course, with a TV show you can pause for a break and come right back. With a big-screen movie like Avatar you leave, you’re missing something. Maybe the movie should have an intermission for a bathroom trip? Or Cameron can flash a little icon of a toilet in the corner of the screen so we all know the right time to run out? That would be helpful.

Avatar: The Way of Water is scheduled to open in theaters on December 16, 2022.

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