Avatar Wiki
Avatar Wiki

The Avatar science-fiction film series is a major part of the Avatar franchise. They are produced by Lightstorm Entertainment with CGI done by Wētā FX. They are distributed by 20th Century Studios and later The Walt Disney Company after Fox merged with Disney in 2019. The first two films were filmed in 3D and so will the remaining three.

James Cameron will direct the first five installments, while he mentioned Avatar 6 and beyond will most likely be directed by someone else.

The first installment, Avatar, was released on December 18, 2009, with announcement of a larger series by 20th Century Fox on December 11, 2009, one week before Avatar was released. Avatar released to major financial success, becoming the highest-grossing film of all time, and was met with generally positive reviews by critics.

Like the original film, the four planned sequels have "fully encapsulated" standalone plots that "come to their own conclusions". All four films have an overarching meta-narrative that connects them and have the Sully family at the center. James Cameron described the sequels as "a natural extension of all the themes, and the characters, and the spiritual undercurrents" of the first film.[1][2]

The film series has also spawned a variety of other media, including books, comics and video games. Other examples of cultural impact include a live-action show and a themed area in Disney World.


Cameron conceptart tech noir neytiri

Concept art of Neytiri

The Avatar film series took root in the imagination of James Cameron when he was a teenager. He experienced a bioluminescent forest in his dream which inspired him to create a beautiful alien world. His mother also had a dream about tall blue people; the look of the Na'vi was never concrete, but early concept art of Neytiri was inspired by actress and activist Q'orianka Kilcher in the film The New World.

Cameron originally wanted to make Avatar in the 1990s, having a version of the script written called Project 880, but the realism and technology of CGI was too limited at the time, and so the movie was put on hold for a decade. Cameron greatly desired to make a mainstream movie about environmentalism and the idea of different cultures working together for the greater good, but to also show the detrimental effects of human greed and corporatism.

Cameron did not originally intend for Avatar to have any sequels and he wrote it as a standalone, and so it took until 2017 with a crew of other writers to finish writing them. With Avatar: The Way of Water, the series also began to focus more on animal rights and welfare themes, which was given more of a focus in the video games.

Released films[]

Avatar (2009)[]


Avatar poster

Avatar was written and directed by James Cameron, and was set in the year 2154.

The story focuses on an epic conflict on Pandora, an inhabited Earth-sized moon of Polyphemus, one of three gas giants orbiting Alpha Centauri A. On Pandora, human colonists and the sentient humanoid indigenous inhabitants of Pandora, the Na'vi, engage in a war over the planet's resources (such as unobtanium) and the latter's continued existence. The film's title refers to the remotely controlled, genetically engineered human-Na'vi bodies used by the film's human characters to interact with the natives. The protagonist, Jake Sully, is a paraplegic young man who travels to Pandora from Earth. Assisting the corporate monolith known as the Resources Development Administration (RDA), he is given an avatar which he uses to interact with the story's heroine, Neytiri, as well as her clan known as the Omatikaya.

Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)[]

Avatar The Way of Water Poster

The Way of Water poster

The second film is set 15 years after the first in the year 2170. The story explores Jake and Neytiri's newfound family of four children: Neteyam, Lo'ak, Kiri and Tuktirey, along with the addition of a human boy named Spider who is very close to the family. Despite their best efforts to keep their family together, a familiar threat resurfaces and forces the Sully family to become refugees and flee to the land of the Metkayina clan in the Pandoran oceans. Here, Lo'ak (Jake and Neytiri's younger son) befriends an exiled sea animal named Payakan. However, Lo'ak discovers Payakan is in danger from a group of hunters who view him as a commodity to be exploited. Lo'ak must face the struggles that come with saving Payakan and his whale-like species, the tulkun, from slaughter.

The film was originally planned for a December 2014 release, but was delayed significantly. It was released worldwide on December 16, 2022 and became the third highest-grossing film of all time. Production began in August 2017.[3][4][5][6][7]

Films in development[]

Avatar 3 (2025)[]

A third film will follow the second, planned for December 2025.[6]

Interviews have stated that the story will revolve around Na'vi themed after fire and ash. A few things are known about the story, such as it will feature two new tribes, have a female Na'vi leader called Varang, and have fire as a thematic element.

Avatar 4 (2029)[]

A fourth film is planned for December 2029, with Josh Friedman as co-writer. The film has not actually been greenlit yet, as its release is dependent on the success of The Way of Water and 3.[1] However, given the box office success of The Way of Water, there is little reason to believe the film will be cancelled. The first act of the film has already been confirmed to have been filmed.

Little is known about the story, except that it will have a time jump, and focus on a new problem that will also be dealt with in Avatar 5. The script has been described as "shocking" and "pretty dark" by Jack Champion. James Cameron has expressed that he greatly desires to make this film, saying, "Everything I need to say about family, about sustainability, about climate, about the natural world, the themes that are important to me in real life and in my cinematic life, I can say on this canvas, I got more excited as I went along. Movie four is a corker. It's a motherfucker. I actually hope I get to make it. But it depends on market forces."

Avatar 5 (2031)[]

A fifth film has been announced, and is scheduled for December 2031 with Shane Salerno as co-writer.[6]

James Cameron has said Earth will be a focus in Avatar 5.

Avatar 6 and 7[]

James Cameron has said that Avatar 6 and Avatar 7 as in the realm of possibility, especially if all the sequels prove to be financially successful. However, he has also said that there is a strong chance he would not direct them.

Unproduced scripts[]

Avatar: The High Ground script (c. 2013)[]

Avatar The High Ground Volume two

The comic book adaptation of the High Ground script

A draft script was written by James Cameron in the early 2010s that was originally intended to become the second film in the Avatar franchise. It was likely written in the period between 2010 and 2013, and was set aside when Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa joined the project. The script was eventually adapted into a comic series by Sherri L. Smith under the title Avatar: The High Ground and received a much-delayed release in 2022. Some elements of the script were used in the opening montage of The Way of Water.[8][9] Actors Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña received a copy of the script to get a better understanding of the backstory of their characters as preparation for their roles. Some media commentary from the time refers to the script as "Avatar 1.5".[10]

Avatar prequel (c. 2012)[]

In 2012, only two Avatar sequels had been publicly discussed which would have completed a trilogy of films. A fourth film was first mentioned by Cameron as a potential prequel concept, and some brief information was given to the media at the time. The film was described as taking place 35 years before the events of the first film, with a focus on the first colonists arriving on the planet.[11] In the years since, Avatar 4 has been referred to exclusively as a sequel, with the major April 2016 press release referring to Avatar 2 through 5 as "four sequels".[12] It is unknown how far along in pre-production the prequel concept was at the time of this direction change, and whether a script exists.


Entertainment Weekly

Neytiri and Jake on Entertainment Weekly.

The first film was released theatrically starting on December 18, 2009. As of December 27, 2009, the film has officially budgeted at $237 million; other estimates put the cost at $280 – $310 million to produce and an estimated $150 million for marketing. However, the film is currently the highest-grossing film in history, taking $2,922,917,914 worldwide. The film also spawned numerous related merchandise, including a series of video games, guidebooks and other collectibles. The film was well received critically and received many awards.

The second film was released to decent but slightly worse reviews than the first; the first film has an 82% at Rotten Tomatoes while the second has a 76%. It also has 0.3 less on IMDb user ratings. It has currently grossed around $2.230 billion and is the third highest-grossing film of all time, as well as the highest-grossing post COVID-19 pandemic film.

Age rating[]

Jake, Neytiri and Tuk Nestle promo

An example of an image used to advertise which can send the wrong idea that Avatar is appropriate for young children

Avatar exists as a somewhat unique series because it is easy to misconstrue its intended audience due to its aesthetics. There is a misconception that Avatar is intended to be a family-friendly series suitable for all ages, partially because Pandora can be seen as a beautiful world, the series has been on Disney+ (Disney is associated with children), Pandora: The World of Avatar is a themed area at Disney World, the story revolves around family, and there are even Kinder Surprise toys, LEGO sets, etc.

The Avatar film series is considered to be a PG-13 series that is considered fine for teenagers and above, but is considered unsuitable for young and sensitive children, especially for those under 10. Currently, blood and death have appeared in both 2 of the 5 films, there are some intense and violent scenes containing death, and there has been some profanity with "fuck" being said in The Way of Water. The Way of Water also contains 3 scenes which can easily be considered jump scares.

Prager speared

Jake Sully spearing Prager to death.

Avatar is more akin to Disney's other property Pirates of the Caribbean, and James Cameron compared Avatar being a "family" story in the sense that The Sopranos is a story about a family, yet contains mature themes and is not necessarily a story for all family. It is impossible to tell what dark or violent content may continue in the sequels, as Avatar 4 has been described as "pretty dark" by Jack Champion.

Despite this, there are some Avatar installments suitable for children, including the Nintendo DS game. The artbooks, such as The World of Avatar: A Visual Exploration and The Ultimate Avatar Sticker Book, are also age appropriate and can allow young children to get an early taste of Pandora.

Recurring major cast and characters[]


Sam Worthington as Jake Sully

I could do that

Stephen Lang as Miles Quaritch

Spider with recoms Empire

Jack Champion as Spider Socorro

Other major characters who have appeared in only one film:

External links[]