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Avatar 3 is the third installment in the Avatar film series. It is a direct sequel to Avatar: The Way of Water and will be followed by Avatar 4 in 2029.

The film will be released on December 19, 2025, ten years after its original release date of Christmas 2015.[3] It was shot back to back with Avatar: The Way of Water, with production commencing in 2017.[4]

On June 13, 2023, the last three sequels were delayed again, with Avatar 3 set for a December 2025 release. Jon Landau commented, "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."[5]

Plot[]

On April 20, 2010, Cameron said that Avatar 2 will take place in Pandora's oceans and that Avatar 3 will explore more of the Alpha Centauri System.[6] As the scripts for all four sequels were finished in 2015, that plot element likely changed; in a February 2018 interview with Collider, Jon Landau confirmed that the Avatar sequels would remain on Pandora and focus more on exploring its environments and cultures.[7]

It is intended for the plot to be able to stand alone, though it will form part of a meta-narrative that extends from Avatar 2 to 5.[8] According to Cameron, Avatar 3 is a "transitional" film in the 2 to 5 narrative.[9]

Underwater elements are a major aspect of Avatar 2 and 3, though they will also have some role in Avatar 4 and 5.[10]

Family reunited

The Sully family

The film will also explore new worlds and continue the story of the main characters, especially the Sully family.[11] A new character will be introduced in the film that will become a major part of the overall story.[9]

After deciding to split the script for the first Avatar sequel into two movies, during script-writing for Avatar: The Way of Water, some parts of the script were moved from its opening act to the first act of Avatar 3. This involves "a major thing that happens to the character Spider". Cameron's phrasing suggests that these events might have taken place before the RDA returned to Pandora.[12] Due to the split, the third will be a completion of the second film. The storytelling will become "much more dense, complex and rich" as the saga progresses.[13]

James Cameron claimed that the greatest creative advancement of the film will not be its visual effects, but rather, the greater character depth. He said Avatar 3 will not be about, ‘We’re going to show you the best water [VFX] ever done’ — but you get more into the heart and soul of the characters. And there’s some very interesting new characters that come in as well. This is a journey over time. It will play out through movie three, into movie four and movie five. There’s an epic cycle to the whole thing.”[14]

According to Jack Champion, the story of Avatar 3 will take an unpredictable and shocking "hard left turn." He said, "I was very shocked by [Avatar 3]. It just takes a hard left turn, and that’s not a bad thing. You think you know where it’s going, but then a wrecking ball comes. So you’re completely like, ‘Oh wow, I never thought that would’ve happened.’ [...] So I think it’s even better than Avatar 2." [15]

Cameron said, "I can promise this: Whatever you think it's going to be, it isn't."

Details[]

Lo'ak infobox

Lo'ak, the new narrator

  • James Cameron has hinted that the story will be focused on Lo'ak;[16] Lo'ak has been confirmed as the film's narrator, replacing Jake.[17]
  • James Cameron said Medusae will appear in Avatar 3 and Avatar 4.[18]
  • There will be a new character named Karina Mogue, portrayed by Michelle Yeoh.
  • There will be a Na'vi character known as Peylak, portrayed by David Thewlis.
  • Fire will play a symbolic role in Avatar 3, represented by "Ash People", an aggressive, volcanic clan[19] that will be led by an antagonistic female Na'vi known as Varang. The film will show the Na'vi in a different light than the previous installments. While humans were depicted negatively and the Na'vi appeared in a very positive light, Avatar 3 will show the opposite.
  • James Cameron has mentioned the story will focus on not just one, but two new cultures.[20]
  • There is said to be an upcoming Na'vi clan known as the "Windtraders" who come from the desert and trade items, although it is unclear if they will appear in Avatar 3 as opposed to the other sequels.[21][22]
  • Spider will have more inner turmoil and conflict.[23] According to James Cameron, Spider is going to remain an important character.
  • The war between humanity and the Na'vi will have a bigger scale than previous film that happened in a big ship. This has led to speculation that Bridgehead will be the site of a major battle.[24]
  • Payakan and Mick Scoresby will return.[25] The film will continue to explore the relationship between Payakan and Lo'ak[19] as well as the whole tulkun culture and their hierarchies.[26]
  • Jon Landau has hinted that Parker Selfridge will return as a main character like Avatar. Selfridge will be back for more of the RDA, he is going to be an important character to Quaritch as their relationship as they moved forward, after he was shown in video recording to Quaritch in Avatar: The Way of Water.[27]
  • James Cameron teased in Q&A screening that the industrial military complex with humans is going to be further explored with more conflicts across Pandora. He also teased that there will be an upcoming main villain who comes from Pandora, though did not specify if this will be in Avatar 3.
  • According to Joel David Moore, Norm Spellman will get the new direction and new adventure after being a side character in previous film.[28]

Possible leaks and images[]

Avatar 3 Behind the Scenes 01

First glimpse at Avatar 3

  • Jon posted the image on the right. It seems to depict Spider in a jumpsuit, and possibly a member of the Ash clan arriving by ikran, who Jake is meeting.
  • A low-resolution screenshot has been leaked of what appears to be Quaritch talking to Varang.[29]
  • Another rather spoilery image has been found. (Warning: Spoilers if these links are hovered) It seems to depict someone in Ash people clothing, while someone else has been abducted by the RDA.
  • Images of the script were posted online that seem to spoil major plot developments.[30][31][32]
  • An image of Spider was shown at the art exhibit that may spoil plot developments regarding him.

Cast[]

Na'vi[]

Recoms[]

Humans[]

Production[]

Title[]

"Avatar 3" is a temporary title.[44] A November 2018 BBC article claimed that the title would be Avatar: The Seed Bearer.[45][46] Cameron later clarified in a February 2018 ET interview that the title was one of many under consideration and the sequel titles hadn't been finalized at that time.[47] Jon Landau confirmed in 2022 that titles for each of the Avatar sequels had been decided and that The Seed Bearer would likely not be the title of Avatar 3.[48] In late 2023, Landau confirmed The Seed Bearer would not be the title.[49]

Writing[]

The writing of Avatar 2 began in 2013 with Josh Friedman was originally at the helm. However, around 2016,[50] James Cameron wished to divide Avatar 2 into two separate movies because of the amount of material and he rewrote them into being separate movies.[51] This means that Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who worked on The Way of Water, are the primary story writers of the finalized Avatar 3[citation needed] and not Friedman, although he still contributed to story ideas.

Before it was decided to divide the script of the sequel to Avatar into two movies, the first act of that first script dealt with reiterating the first movie, the 15 years between the first and second movie's story, launching a new conflict and introducing new characters. Some elements of this former first act have been moved over to the first act of the third film.[52]

The scripts of all four Avatar sequels finished in 2017.[citation needed]

Filming[]

After Cameron confirmed the sequels, he confirmed that Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 would be filmed back-to-back, elaborating: “I am in the process of writing the next two Avatar films now. We are planning to shoot them together and [edit them in post-production] together, and we will probably release them not quite back to back, but about a year apart.” [53] One reason for shooting the films back to back was because he didn't want the younger cast members to significantly age between sequels.[54]

In October 2013, Sam Worthington mentioned that the three sequels would start shooting in fall 2014,[55] however Weaver later stated that her shoots would not take place until fall 2015.[56] In actuality, these filming plans were delayed. Filming for Avatar: The Way of Water and Avatar 3 eventually started on September 25, 2017, in Manhattan Beach, California.[57]

In September 2017, James Cameron expressed intent to start production on Avatar 4 and 5 after the release of Avatar 3, as part of the back-to-back production and release schedule of the sequels. Avatar 2 and 3 would be shot back to back and go through post production sequentially, in a "two and two structure" that will also be done for Avatar 4 and 5.[58] On February 6, 2018, David Thewlis confirmed having a Na'vi character role in Avatar 3-5, having already done motion capture work for Avatar 3 in Los Angeles.[59]

During promotion for Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Zoe Saldana said that motion capture on Avatar 2 and 3 was "just about done", with pre-production starting afterwards on the live action portion. The New Zealand location filming took place for six months. She mentioned overall production as approximately halfway done.[60] On October 29, 2018, Sigourney Weaver reported that her filming for Avatar 2 and 3 was complete.[61] On November 14, 2018, James Cameron confirmed that the main cast of Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, and Kate Winslet had finished principal photography on Avatar 2 and 3.[62]

In a February 2019, Jon Landau confirmed that performance capture on Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 was complete, with some partial performance capture done for Avatar 4. He stated that live action filming would start in spring 2019 in New Zealand.[7] This was further emphasized by Landau in another February 2019 interview, with the performance capture done for Avatar 2, 3, and parts of 4 described as "principal capture".[63]

On March 17, 2020, Landau announced that filming in New Zealand had been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that production work would continue in Los Angeles.[64] He also mentioned that collaborating on visual effects with Weta Digital would continue.[65] On May 31, James Cameron, Jon Landau and 54 other members of the production crew were able to return to New Zealand under a special visa category for border exemptions for foreigners deemed essential to a project of "significant economic value." Officially, New Zealand's borders were still closed at the time.[66][67] All passengers of the 13-hour direct flight from Los Angeles underwent a mandatory 14-day government-supervised quarantine at the QT Hotel in Wellington before they would resume filming.[68]

There were conflicting reports as to how far along the movie was shot. In September 2020, James Cameron stated that the remainder of all shooting with Avatar was "95% complete" and that the team was finishing up in New Zealand.[69] Cameron stated in November 2022 Avatar 3 was "all shot."[70] That month, Sam Worthington claimed the movie was around 80-90% finished shooting and "We're still owing some scenes."[71] In March 2023, Zoe Saldana mentioned that more filming would commence in summer 2023: "We’re gonna go back this summer and finish it up. We’re 70% done there. But, we have time."[72]

In May 2023, Sigourney Weaver mentioned she will do pick-ups in January 2024: "I know that in January, I go back and probably do some pickups, I don't think there are whole new scenes to be shot. I think it's going to be refining what [James Cameron's] got now that he's closing in on the edit, because he always has too much material. He loves to shoot. I wouldn't even begin to guess of what we might be doing, but I think it's just maybe going back to a couple of moments and giving him some footage that he didn't get the way he wants to."[73]

In January 2024, Sam Worthington mentioned there would be more Avatar filming in February 2024. Sites circulated that he meant for Avatar 4, however, the original People.com article does not actually specify which film, or possibly both 3 and 4.[74] Jack Champion and Matt Gerald confirmed filming is occurring in February 2024, with Gerald mentioning it would be for Avatar 3. In February 2024, James Cameron reaffirmed filming for Avatar 3 was around 95% complete. He said Zoe's comment was inaccurate, and she possibly included post-production and CGI when she claimed 70%, instead of merely filming. In a post a February 20, 2024, Jon Landau welcomed Avatar actors Wes Studi and Laz Alonso back for some performance capture work, hinting at a possible reprise of their roles as Eytukan and Tsu'tey.[75] In April 2024, Cameron mentioned Avatar 3 was finished shooting with actors, and he was working on virtual camera cinematography.[76] In June, Sam Worthington said shooting was ongoing. That month, Joel David Moore also announced he returned to New Zealand to do pick-ups.

Post-Production[]

When Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett and Eric Saindon were asked at the EE BAFTA Film Awards ceremony on February 19, 2023 about the status of Avatar 3, Letteri stated that Weta FX was just about to start working on the film.[77] In early March, Jon Landau, being in Wellington, New Zealand, confirmed that post production has started.[78]

On July 5, 2024, producer Jon Landau passed away from cancer.

Delays[]

The film was delayed by six months in 2016, in part due to a scheduling conflict between Avatar: The Way of Water and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.[79] The film was delayed again on May 6, 2019, along with the other Avatar sequel.[80] On July 23, 2020, James Cameron announced that all Avatar sequels are delayed by one year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.[81] On June 13, 2023, Jon Landau announced Avatar 3 would be delayed again.[5] The release date for Avatar 3 is set for December 19, 2025.

Possible TV series version[]

When The Way of Water was released, some cites circulated that James Cameron's first cut of Avatar 3 had a running time of nine hours. However, Cameron later debunked this, saying he originally meant that Avatar 3, 4 and 5 would be around 9 hours combined.[82]

Still, Cameron is open to the idea of releasing a longer version as a limited series on Disney+ after the movie's theatrical run.[83] He mentioned that the theatrical version could be a more condensed version while the TV series version could let the audience experience the full narrative.

However, Jon Landau claimed regarding Avatar 3, "We don’t have the amount of content to do that."[84] Currently, whether or not there will be an extended version of Avatar 3 is yet to be confirmed.

Marketing[]

During the initial announcements for Pandora: The World of Avatar in 2011, James Cameron stated that the theme park would include elements from the second and third movies.[85] The park opened on May 27, 2017.

Three pieces of environmental concept art for Avatar 3 were revealed in March 2023.[86]

James Cameron announced a series called The Science of Avatar during a presentation at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Press Tour on February 8, 2024. It is produced in cooperation with National Geographic and will be released around the same time as Avatar 3.[87][88]

Gallery[]

Behind the scenes[]

Concept art[]

Trivia[]

  • The 2023 video game Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is said to have clues and elements that will be connected to Avatar 3. According to Joshua Izzo, "There are going to be some future sequel elements in Frontiers of Pandora that will pay off when the movie comes out, when Avatar 3 comes out in 2025, Careful Avatar fans who have played the game will want to go back and maybe revisit certain things because it will be revealed to them in '25."[89]
  • The movie was filmed with Sony Venice cameras on stereoscopic 3D rigs.[90]
  • Vin Diesel once said he would be in the Avatar sequels, saying he is "doing" Avatar.[91] However, Jon Landau said he would not be any.[92] The discrepancy as to why Diesel thought he would be in the series is unknown.
  • Avatar: The Next Shadow has a small hint of Ash People which is mentioned by Artsut. She mentions that the Ash Peoples are willing to welcome into their clan someone who has murdered another Na'vi.

References[]

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External Links[]

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