What’s next after ”The Way of Water?“
At long last, “Avatar 2” has arrived. James Cameron has been teasing this sequel for a literal decade, and we’ve watched as Cameron and Co. have developed and given status updates on the four “Avatar” sequels that he put together at the same time. We’ve also watched as release dates have come and gone, but with “Avatar: The Way of Water” finally in theaters and footage for multiple additional sequels already in the can, we are well on our way to “Avatar 3” and beyond.
Since Cameron developed this as a four-film story that continues on after his 2009 film, many may have questions about “Avatar 3” – namely when does it come out, who’s in it, and what do we know about the story? Here’s everything we know about “Avatar 3” so far.
“Avatar 3” is set for release on Dec. 20, 2024, so we have two years to wait until we find out how this story continues. That is the film’s eighth release date overall, as it was originally scheduled to be released in December 2015 before many (many, many) delays.
The other good news is that “Avatar 3” is already in the can. James Cameron shot “Avatar 2,” “Avatar 3,” and parts of “Avatar 4” at the same time across an epic production period. With “Avatar 3” already in the can, Cameron and his team now fully turn their attention to completing post-production on the sequel for the next couple of years.
When Cameron originally announced his intention to make multiple “Avatar” sequels, there were three of them. But in writing the scripts for all three, he said he realized that the story for “Avatar 2” needed to be expanded into two different movies.
A string of titles for the “Avatar” sequels was leaked in 2019, and Cameron confirmed that they were among many titles being considered for the sequels. In that leaked batch, “Avatar 2” was called “Avatar: The Seed Bearer.”
“Avatar: The Way of Water” introduced a number of new characters to the franchise, including some played by Kate Winslet and Edie Falco, and “Avatar 3” will introduce even more.
Oona Chaplin (“Game of Thrones”) plays a character named Varang who becomes central to the franchise; David Thewlis (“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”) plays a Na’vi character who shows up in 3 and runs all the way through 5; and Michelle Yeoh fills the live-action role of Dr. Karina Mogue.
They’ll join returning cast members Sam Worthington (Jake Sully), Zoe Saldaña (Neytiri), Stephen Lang (Colonel Miles Quaritch), Tonowari (Cliff Curtis), CCH Pounder (Mo’at), Sigourney Weaver (Kiri) and more.
Since “Avatar 3” is in the can and already being worked on, Cameron says even if “The Way of Water” flops they’ll still probably finish and release the third movie. But if “Avatar 2” does indeed flop, “Avatar 3” could be the end of the road.
“The market could be telling us we’re done in three months, or we might be semi-done, meaning: ‘OK, let’s complete the story within movie three, and not go on endlessly,’ if it’s just not profitable,” Cameron told Total Film.
“We’re in a different world now than we were when I wrote this stuff, even,” the filmmaker continued. “It’s the one-two punch — the pandemic and streaming. Or, conversely, maybe we’ll remind people what going to the theatre is all about. This film definitely does that. The question is: how many people give a shit now?”
Cameron told Deadline that in this worst case scenario, “Avatar 3” would be retrofitted to conclude the series.
“We would find a way to create as much as we could to finish the saga, round it off. We’d find an earlier offramp and then see if maybe the cost of production could come down through technical advances in the future and then revisit it. So, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over, basically.”
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