James Cameron's Avatar 3 will be released in theaters on December 20, 2024.
Finally, though, fans have been treated to Avatar: The Way of Water and that’s getting those same folks excited for what is to come in this franchise. Avatar 3 is coming down the pike and we already have some information about what to expect from this film.
AVATAR 3 WILL RELEASE IN THEATERS ON DECEMBER 20, 2024
The good news is that the turnaround time for the franchise’s third movie will be much quicker than Avatar: The Way of Water came to us. In fact, Avatar 3, which has yet to be given an official title, is scheduled to hit Cineplexes on December 20, 2024. If this holds true, it will be a mere two years between Avatar 2 and Avatar 3.
Thankfully, there is much that we already know about Avatar 3 besides its release date. As we go over these things, there will undoubtedly be SPOILERS to set things up, so if you have not yet seen Avatar: The Way of Water, you may want to avoid some of the following news. Proceed at your own peril.
AVATAR 3 IS COMING TO THEATERS MUCH FASTER THAN AVATAR 2
There are two main reasons why Avatar fans can expect to see Avatar 3 in movie theaters much sooner than they may have thought possible. The first is the fact that what caused the big delay between the first and second films, the technical advancements, is a hurdle that James Cameron has cleared for this next film.
Of course, as Cameron loves to push the boundaries of what films look like, more advancements might be necessary.
The second reason fans will see Avatar 3 in theaters much sooner is that Avatar 3, for the most part, has already been completely filmed. According to the cast and Cameron himself, Avatar: The Way of Water and Avatar 3 were filmed back-to-back for reasons of continuity. Plus, as Cameron has said, Jack Champion, who plays the human teen, Spider, is “growing like a weed.”
So, not only did Cameron shoot all of Avatar 3 alongside Avatar: The Way of Water, but the prolific writer/director also shot portions of Avatar 4 for that same reason.
“Otherwise, you get — and I love Stranger Things — but you get the Stranger Things effect where they’re supposed to still be in high school [but] they look like they’re 27,” Cameron told Entertainment Weekly. “You know, I love the show. It’s OK, we’ll suspend disbelief. We like the characters, but, you know.”
Avatar: The Way of Water producer Jon Landau also confirmed that the third film in the series has almost been completely shot. “We went out and we shot all of movie 2. We shot 95% of movie 3. We have a little bit that we have to still pick up.” He added, “And we shot the first act of movie 4.”
SAM WORTHINGTON, ZOE SALDANA, AND OTHERS WILL BE BACK FOR AVATAR 3
Expand For Avatar 3 Returning Cast
The list is long for those returning for Avatar 3. Those coming back for a third helping include Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, Cliff Curtis, CCH Pounder, Britain Dalton, Jo-Li Bliss, Matt Gerald, and Bailey Bass. Each one has been confirmed to return as their Na’vi character.
While there is no official word on whether Kate Winslet will be back as Ronal, when she spoke about the film on the WTF Podcast with Marc Maron, she explained to the host that there were a number of times when she didn’t know if she was filming for Avatar: The Way of Water or for Avatar 3, so there is a great chance she will return.
One character whose future is in major question is Jamie Flatters. He played Na’vi character Neteyam but the character lost his life at the end of Avatar: The Way of Water, so his return to Avatar 3 is unknown. But as we’ve seen, death in an Avatar film doesn’t necessarily mean the end for them (Hello Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver).
As for the human characters, it has been said that Giovanni Ribisi’s character Parker Selfridge will make a big appearance in Avatar 3 after only appearing briefly in the second film.
With fans not knowing the fate of Dr. Ian Garvin, played by Jemaine Clement, it would appear that he’ll be back so that the storyline can be continued or concluded. Also, likely back for the third film will be Dileep Rao as Dr. Max Patel and Joel David Moore as Dr. Norm Spellman.
Of course, there are two more human characters that should be making their triumphant return in Avatar 3. These would be Jack Champion as Spider and Edie Falco as General Frances Ardmore. So, where does this leave Cameron in announcing any new characters?
MICHELLE YEOH AND OONA CHAPLIN ARE JOINING THE CAST
Expand For Avatar 3 New Cast
Dr. Karina Mogue
There are actually a few new faces who will be joining James Cameron’s Avatar universe. One of the first big names is Michelle Yeoh, who is coming off a big year with her amazing lead in Everything Everywhere All At Once along with her voice role in the animated hit, Minions: The Rise of Gru. Yeoh is joining the cast as the human scientist, Dr. Karina Mogue.
Another big addition to James Cameron’s Avatar 3 is noted British actor, David Thewlis who is known for his role as Professor Remus Lupin, the Hogwarts werewolf. Not only will Thewlis be on board as Na’vi Peylak in Avatar 3, but is it also said that he will be involved with Avatar 4 and Avatar 5.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER COULD BE JOINING THE FRANCHISE BUT IN AVATAR 4
Giant Freakin Robot had the exclusive that there could also be another superstar coming to the Avatar franchise Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this is in line to happen with the next movie, but will instead be in Avatar 4. It’s said that he will be a Na’vi in the film when it finally hits theaters in 2026.
THE AVATAR 3 PLOT IS UNKNOWN AT THIS POINT BUT COULD INVOLVE THE FIRE ELEMENT
At this point, there is nothing known about the direction Avatar 3 will be taking fans. While we won’t give away the ending of Avatar: The Way of Water, Landau did say that technically, the third film will continue to “raise the bar,” and it will also introduce new Na’vi clans and new Pandora biomes. He explained to Collider:
“Well, I think we’re gonna continue to raise the bar with the storytelling first. I think that what we’re gonna do is go out and meet new clans. We’re gonna go out and see different biomes, and that’s gonna present its own technological challenges. How do we present those? Just like water presented challenges in this one. And, what we’re gonna also continue to do is not look at just how we use the tools of technology, but how do we get the exhibition community on board with creating a ubiquitous improvement across all theaters?”
There is some speculation that fire could be a central theme of the movie as well with another Na’Vi clan stemming from the volcanos in the region. These would be the Ash people, as they are being referred to at this point. This has yet to be officially confirmed.
IT COULD BE TITLED AVATAR: THE SEED BEARER
While nothing has been officially announced, there was a report back in 2018 from the BBC that revealed the sequel’s name as Avatar: The Way of Water. It was also at this time that the BBC reported the title of the third movie: Avatar: The Seed Bearer. Seriously.
THERE ARE THREE MORE MOVIES PLANNED IN THIS FRANCHISE
Speaking of Avatar 3, there is also a question of how many more Cameron has planned. Since we know he has already started filming Avatar 4, we know that there are at least two more in the works. This comes contrary to what Cameron said in an interview in 2017.
“Let’s face it, if Avatar 2 and 3 don’t make enough money, there’s not going to be a 4 and 5,” he told Vanity Fair.
It wouldn’t appear that the box office worries were any concern though. In total, Avatar: The Way of Water ended up earning more than $2.3 billion at the box office. That left it third all-time behind only Avatar and Avengers: Endgame.
With those numbers set, the green light for a possible Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 is looking better and better.
In fact, you can probably count on those, as after the 2024 release date for Avatar 3, Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 have been given tentative release years of 2026 and 2028 respectively.