Avatar 3 In Chaos During Post-Production

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Published

movie set

Not to freak out Avatar fans, but turbulence may very well reign behind the scenes in the world of Pandora. According to Variety, James Cameron, the celebrated director behind the Avatar universe, the Terminator franchise, and Titanic, to name a few, disclosed that the post-production phase of Avatar 3 is proceeding a bit chaotically.

In a New Zealand press conference moderated by 1News’s chief correspondent, John Campbell, the director elaborated on the frantic nature of the ongoing post-production work. The stagnating progress, Cameron noted, means the next two years will comprise a relentless rush to complete the project. 

Avatar 3 Delayed

The director communicated that, providing his team adheres to a hectic, uncompromising schedule, fans should expect the third installment of the Avatar franchise to hit theaters around Christmas of 2025. This marks a significant delay from the originally (perhaps fancifully) projected 2024 release. 

Instead of the hills of Hollywood, Cameron finds himself laboring over the post-production of Avatar 3 New Zealand, his adopted home since 2005. The director says he plans to maintain New Zealand as his home base indefinitely—even going so far as to become a New Zealand citizen by 2024. 

Final Film Not Expected For A Long Time

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Fans may know that Disney acquired the Avatar franchise following the company’s merger with Fox, a merger commencing a reshuffling of release dates for the forthcoming sequels. The overall franchise timeline has been lengthened to 2031. While nothing is set in stone—and delays occur, as the SAG-AFTRA strike or Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated—Avatar 3 is slated for December 19, 2025, followed by Avatar 4 in 2029 and Avatar 5 in 2031. 

Due to this staggered schedule, the final Avatar film will premiere 22 years after the original 2009 sci-fi blockbuster. 

Can Avatar 3 Be As Successful?

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Clearly, Disney and Cameron are both playing the long game. After all, Avatar: The Way of Water, the second film in the series, premiered 13 years after the first film’s enormous success. Grossing $2.3 billion in worldwide revenue, the second Avatar film remains the third highest-grossing movie in the medium’s history. Skeptics, some may remember, projected much less revenue for the Avatar sequel; Cameron proved them wrong at the box office.

Predictably, Avatar 3 will earn similar figures, if not more. 

Will The Cast Even Be Able To Return For More Films?

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Still, the sizable time period between Avatar films has led one of its iconic cast members to comment on just that. Zoe Saldaña, who plays one of the franchise’s stars, noted humorously on Instagram that her age progression between the first and the last movies will be from 27 to 53. She pointed out that Co-star Sam Worthington’s age will be 55, while Cameron will be 77 by the time the final film rolls around. 

Avatar 3 Introduces The Ash People

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For his part, Camerson offered some exciting glimpses into his upcoming film. Avatar 3 will involve a new, antagonistic Na’vi race, the Ash People, a war-like, volcanic society whose leader, Varang, will be played by Oona Chaplin. Fans may know her from Game of Thrones (fun fact: she’s Charlie Chaplin’s granddaughter). 

The director went on to heap praise on New Zealand, his adopted home, noting its economic and cultural exports while confirming his commitment to shooting all the remaining Avatar films—and potentially other projects—in the island country.