Warning: This article contains major spoilers for Avatar: The Way of Water.
After 13 long years, Avatar: The Way of Water has finally been released, and the return to Pandora has been worth the wait.
Set more than a decade after the events of the 2009 film, Avatar: The Way of Water follows the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive and the tragedies they endure as they strive to protect their home on Pandora.
With a number of open-ended plot lines, like Spider saving Colonel Quaritch from drowning in the final act of Avatar: The Way of Water, it will likely be no surprise that yes, there’s an Avatar 3 on the way.
In fact, Avatar: The Way of Water is one of four planned sequels, but whether the fourth and fifth films see the light of day remains up in the air, as we wait to see how Avatar: The Way of Water performs at the box office. As director James Cameron has said, the sequel needs to “be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history” to “break even” on its immense budget.
As for Avatar 3, though, the story is a little different. Originally slated for release back in 2015, Avatar 3 was filmed simultaneously with Avatar: The Way of Water, as well as parts of Avatar 4. Currently in post-production, Avatar 3 is expected to hit cinemas in December 2024.
Should The Way of Water not live up to its box office expectations, Cameron told Total Film magazine that Avatar 3 could be the end of the franchise if it’s “not profitable” to make the fourth and fifth films.
“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 said.
Here’s everything we know so far about Avatar 3.
What Is Avatar 3 Going to Be Called?
While Avatar 3‘s official title has yet to be confirmed, the BBC reported in 2018 that the sequels would be titled Avatar: The Way of Water, Avatar: The Seed Bearer, Avatar: The Tulkun Rider and Avatar: The Quest for Eywa.
Given that Avatar: The Way of Water turned out to be the official title, it’s possible that Avatar 3 will be titled Avatar: The Seed Bearer, but Avatar producer Jon Landau has said otherwise.
“We have decided on titles, but I would not go by those other three titles that were out there,” he told Gizmodo. “You know, if you roll the dice one in six times, you’ll pick the right number.”
What Is Avatar 3 About?
While there’s no official synopsis for Avatar 3 just yet, Avatar: The Way of Water does set up a number of storylines ready to be continued in the next film.
For example, we see Spider rescue Colonel Quaritch from drowning in the final act. Although Spider refuses Quaritch’s invitation to join him on the side of the Resources Development Administration (RDA), Spider obviously has some level of connection to the Avatar of the man who was once his father. Thus, we can expect to see more of this relationship in Avatar 3.
After losing the final battle of Avatar: The Way of Water, Quaritch will almost certainly be on (another) quest for revenge in Avatar 3, and his return is likely to strain Spider’s relationships with both the Sully family and the Na’vi at large.
It’s also safe to assume that the RDA will be back in full force, ready to attack Jake Sully and the Na’vi once again.
The end of Avatar: The Way of Water saw the Sully family welcomed into the Metkayina clan, which would imply that a decent amount of Avatar 3 could also be set around the water. However, James Cameron recently revealed in an interview that the third film will bring about a new element to the Avatar franchise: fire.
Speaking with French publication 20 Minutes [source is in French], Cameron said that the third film also shows “cultures different from those [he has] already shown”.
“The fire will be represented by the ‘Ash People,’” he said. “I want to reveal the Nav’is from another angle because, for the moment, I have only shown their good sides.”
Cameron explained: “In the early films, there are very negative human examples and very positive Na’vi’s examples. In Avatar 3, we’ll do the reverse. We will also explore new universes while continuing the story of the main characters. I can say that the last parts will be the best. The others were an introduction, a way to set the table before serving the meal.”
Who Is Starring in Avatar 3?
Avatar 3 will see many familiar faces, both human and Na’vi, return to Pandora for the third instalment in the franchise.
Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña will return as Jake Sully and Neytiri, as will Sigourney Weaver, Britain Dalton, Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, who play the Sully family’s children, Kiri, Lo’ak and Tuk, respectively. Jack Champion, who plays Spider, will also return.
From Avatar: The Way of Water‘s Metkayina clan, Cliff Curtis will return as Tonowari, as well as Kate Winslet as Ronal, Bailey Bass as Tsireya, Filip Geljo as Aonung and Duane Evans Jr as Rotxo.
Stephen Lang, who plays Miles Quaritch, and Matt Gerald, who plays Lyle Wainfleet, will also return.
Joining the cast as new Na’vi characters are Oona Chaplin as Varang, and David Thewlis, as an as-yet-unknown character.
Meanwhile, there are a number of new and returning human characters as well.
Joel David Moore will return as Norm Spellman, as will Dileep Rao as Max Patel. Meanwhile, over on the ‘humans who are bad’ side of things, Giovanni Ribisi will reprise his role as Parker Selfridge, and Edie Falco will return as Frances Ardmore. Joining the cast for Avatar 3 is Michelle Yeoh as Dr. Karina Mogue, a scientist.
Is There a Trailer for Avatar 3?
Although Avatar: The Way of Water and Avatar 3 filmed at the same time, there’s no trailer for the third instalment of the franchise just yet. Watch this space, though, and we’ll update this post as soon as we know more.
When Will Avatar 3 Be Released in Australia?
Assuming all goes to plan, Avatar 3 will be released in Australian cinemas on December 19, 2024.
Will There Be an Avatar 4?
Currently, the plan is that there will be both an Avatar 4 and an Avatar 5 following the 2024 release of Avatar 3.
Parts of Avatar 4 were filmed alongside Avatar: The Way of Water and Avatar 3, but whether the film will be completed or not depends on the profitability of the second and third films. Watch this space.
Avatar: The Way of Water is in HOYTS cinemas now. Buy tickets here.
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