Warning: This article contains major spoilers for Avatar: The Way of Water.
After 13 long years, Avatar: The Way of Water was finally released in December 2022, and it was worth the wait. Originally, Avatar 3 was slated for a December 2024 release, but in a tale as old as time (or, a tale as old as 2010, at least), Disney announced today that the Avatar sequels have been delayed once again.
When Avatar: The Way of Water was released, director James Cameron explained the 13-year gap between Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water, telling The Wrap, “We know exactly what we’re doing.”
Cameron went on to say that part of the reason for the long delay was that they planned the arc of all four planned Avatar sequels at once, so that when they finally returned, the sequels would follow with regularity.
“So ideally two years from now, [Avatar 3] comes out, ideally maybe three years after that [Avatar 4] comes out, and then ideally maybe a couple years after that [Avatar 5] comes out,” he said. “So we won’t be away from the marketplace, so we’ll have that sense of a persistent world, an ongoing story that I think people want.
“If they’re gonna invest in these characters, if they’re gonna invest in this world, we want to give it to them at a regular cadence,” Cameron said.
But the announcement of the Avatar sequels is something that’s oh-so-familiar to film buffs, and for the complete timeline of Avatar sequel announcements, you can click here.
Avatar 3 was originally set for a 2015 release. By the time Avatar: The Way of Water hit cinemas in 2022, though, Avatar 3 was slated for a December 2024 release.
Avatar 3 was filmed simultaneously with Avatar: The Way of Water, and is currently in post-production.
Why Has Avatar 3 Been Delayed?
Avatar 3 has been delayed following a total overhaul of Disney’s release schedule. Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 have also been pushed back.
Variety reports that “production delays and the ongoing WGA strike are part of the reason behind the total overhaul of the release plan”. The overhaul will also affect the Marvel and Star Wars franchises.
When it comes to the Avatar franchise specifically, though, the extra time between sequels “will allow the post-production and visual effects department to continue expanding, developing and refining the different ecosystems across the vast world of Pandora”.
Avatar producer Jon Landau addressed the news on Twitter. Landau wrote that “each Avatar film is an exciting but epic undertaking that takes time to bring to the quality level we as filmmakers strive for and audiences have come to expect.
“The team is hard at work and can’t wait to bring audiences back to Pandora in December 2025,” he added.
Each Avatar film is an exciting but epic undertaking that takes time to bring to the quality level we as filmmakers strive for and audiences have come to expect. The team is hard at work and can’t wait to bring audiences back to Pandora in December 2025. pic.twitter.com/DrFX01qzTa
— Jon Landau (@jonlandau) June 13, 2023
What Will Avatar 3 Be Titled?
Avatar 3‘s official title has yet to be confirmed. However, back in 2018, the BBC reported that the sequels would be titled Avatar: The Way of Water, Avatar: The Seed Bearer, Avatar: The Tulkun Rider and Avatar: The Quest for Eywa.
Avatar: The Way of Water turned out to be the official title. But while it’s possible that Avatar 3 will be titled Avatar: The Seed Bearer, but producer Jon Landau has said otherwise.
“We have decided on titles, but I would not go by those other three titles that were out there,” he told Gizmodo. “You know, if you roll the dice one in six times, you’ll pick the right number.”
What Is Avatar 3 About?
There’s no official synopsis for Avatar 3 just yet. However, Avatar: The Way of Water sets up a number of storylines ready to be continued in the next film.
For example, we see Spider rescue Colonel Quaritch from drowning in the final act. Although Spider refuses Quaritch’s invitation to join him on the side of the Resources Development Administration (RDA), Spider obviously has some level of connection to the Avatar of the man who was once his father. Thus, we can expect to see more of this relationship in Avatar 3.
After losing the final battle of Avatar: The Way of Water, Quaritch will almost certainly be on (another) quest for revenge in Avatar 3. His return is likely to strain Spider’s relationships with both the Sully family and the Na’vi at large.
It’s also safe to assume that the RDA will be back in full force, ready to attack Jake Sully and the Na’vi once again.
Avatar 3 Will Introduce Fire Elements to Pandora
The end of Avatar: The Way of Water saw the Sully family welcomed into the Metkayina clan. This would imply that a decent amount of Avatar 3 could also be set around the water. However, James Cameron revealed in an interview that the third film will introduce a new element to the Avatar franchise: fire.
Speaking with French publication 20 Minutes [source is in French], Cameron said that the third film also shows “cultures different from those [he has] already shown”.
“The fire will be represented by the ‘Ash People,’” he said. “I want to reveal the Nav’is from another angle because, for the moment, I have only shown their good sides.”
Cameron explained: “In the early films, there are very negative human examples and very positive Na’vi’s examples. In Avatar 3, we’ll do the reverse. We will also explore new universes while continuing the story of the main characters. I can say that the last parts will be the best. The others were an introduction, a way to set the table before serving the meal.”
Who Is Starring in Avatar 3?
Avatar 3 will see many familiar faces return to Pandora for the third film. Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña will return as Jake Sully and Neytiri, of course. Sigourney Weaver, Britain Dalton, Trinity Jo-Li Bliss — who play the Sully family’s children, Kiri, Lo’ak and Tuk — will also return. Jack Champion, who plays Spider, will also return.
From Avatar: The Way of Water‘s Metkayina clan, Cliff Curtis will return as Tonowari, as well as Kate Winslet as Ronal, Bailey Bass as Tsireya, Filip Geljo as Aonung and Duane Evans Jr as Rotxo.
Stephen Lang, who plays Miles Quaritch, and Matt Gerald, who plays Lyle Wainfleet, will also return.
Joining the cast as new Na’vi characters are Oona Chaplin as Varang, and David Thewlis, as an as-yet-unknown character.
Meanwhile, there are a number of new and returning human characters as well.
Joel David Moore will return as Norm Spellman, as will Dileep Rao as Max Patel. Meanwhile, over on the ‘humans who are bad’ side of things, Giovanni Ribisi will reprise his role as Parker Selfridge. Edie Falco will also return as Frances Ardmore. Joining the cast for Avatar 3 is Michelle Yeoh as Dr. Karina Mogue, a scientist.
Is There a Trailer for Avatar 3?
Unfortunately, there’s no trailer for Avatar 3 just yet. Watch this space, though, and we’ll update this post as soon as we know more.
When Will Avatar 3 Be Released in Australia?
This time around, Avatar 3 has been delayed by one year. Currently, it’s slated for release on December 18, 2025.
Will There Be an Avatar 4?
Yes. Currently, Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 are confirmed to follow the 2025 release of Avatar 3.
In fact, parts of Avatar 4 were filmed alongside Avatar: The Way of Water and Avatar 3. Whether the film will be completed or not depends on the profitability of the third film, but given that Avatar: The Way of Water quickly became the third highest grossing film of all-time, it’s fairly safe to assume that Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 will be released… at some point.
Currently, Avatar 4 is set to hit cinemas on December 20, 2029. Avatar 5 is set for release on December 18, 2031.
Avatar: The Way of Water is now streaming on Disney+.
Want more Avatar? Read all our content here, and check out the stories below:
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- “All-Consuming”: James Cameron Might Be Getting Over Making ‘Avatar’ Sequels
- The ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Trailer Is Finally Here
- Where to Watch the Biggest Oscar Contenders in Australia
- “Never Bet Against James Cameron”: The Early Reviews for ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Are In