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Everything you need to know about Avatar 3

Jake Sully riding atop one of Pandora's aquatic animals.

Never underestimate James Cameron and the power of Avatar. Cameron released Avatar in 2009, and it was his first film since 1997’s Titanic. The sci-fi adventure introduced Pandora, the beautiful moon home to the blue indigenous species called the Na’vi. With stunning visuals and epic worldbuilding, Avatar became a smash hit and remains the highest-grossing film ever at $2.9 billion. Thirteen years later, Cameron raised the bar with Avatar: The Way of Water, the third highest-grossing film ever.

Audiences will explore Pandora again in the forthcoming sequel, Avatar 3. Cameron is working hard on the third film, which should arrive by the end of next year. What can audiences expect to see in Avatar 3? Below, we reveal everything you need to know about Avatar 3, including the release date, cast, plot, and trailer.

Avatar 3 release date

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.

— Jon Landau (@jonlandau) June 13, 2023

Avatar 3 is scheduled to be released in theaters on December 19, 2025. The third film was initially supposed to arrive on December 20, 2024. On June 13, 2023, Disney pushed Avatar 3‘s release date to the end of 2025. In November 2023, Cameron gave a promising update at the Screen Production and Development Association (SPADA) press conference, saying Avatar 3 is on track for its 2025 release date.

“We’re into a very hectic two years of postproduction right now,” Cameron said. “So it will be Christmas of 2025.”

At the 2024 Saturn Awards, Cameron told Screen Rant that Avatar 3 is nearly finished, with only a few small pickup shoots left to complete.

“It’s pretty much in the can,” Cameron said about Avatar 3‘s production. “We’re shooting pickups on 3, which is just filling in the last 2 or 3%, and we’ve also got live-action pickups in June. That’s another couple percent. We’ve got about a quarter of movie 4 in the can. We’re post on 3 and now doing the VFX, which is an enormous job. I’ll need every second between now and then to get it done.”

Who is in the Avatar 3 cast?

A group of Na'vi mourn in the water while flames show around them in a scene from Avatar: The Way of Water.
20th Century Studios

Most of the main cast from Avatar: The Way of Water will return in Avatar 3. The Avatar 3 cast features:

  • Sam Worthington as Jake Sully
  • Zoe Saldaña as Neytiri
  • Sigourney Weaver as Kiri
  • Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch
  • CCH Pounder as Mo’at
  • Cliff Curtis as Tonowari
  • Kate Winslet as Ronal
  • Giovanni Ribisi as Parker Selfridge
  • Britain Dalton as Lo’ak
  • Trinity Jo-Li Bliss as Tuktirey, “Tuk”
  • Jack Champion as Miles “Spider” Socorro
  • Bailey Bass as Tsireya, “Reya”
  • Dileep Rao as Dr. Max Patel
  • Joel David Moore as Dr. Norm Spellman
  • Edie Falco as General Frances Ardmore
  • Jemaine Clement as Dr. Ian Garvin
  • Matt Gerald as Corporal Lyle Wainfleet

Avatar 3 will introduce new characters, including Oona Chaplin as Varang, the leader of the volcanic Ash People; Michelle Yeoh as Dr. Karina Mogue, a human scientist; and David Thewlis as Peylak, a Na’vi character set to appear in the final three films.

Two characters that may return are Laz Alonso’s Tsu’tey and Wes Studi’s Eytukan. Both characters died in Avatar. However, Avatar proved characters could rise from the dead, withColonel Miles Quaritch. Though their participation in Avatar 3 has not been confirmed, Avatar producer Jon Landau posted a photo with Alonso and Studi with the caption, “It’s great to have Laz and Wes back for a little performance capture.”

Who is directing and writing Avatar 3?

James Cameron sits on a desk discussing a shot with an actor during filming of Avatar: The Way of Water.
20th Century Studios

James Cameron is directing, co-writing, co-producing, and co-editing Avatar 3. Cameron’s co-writers are Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who also helped write Avatar: The Way of Water. Josh Friedman and Shane Salerno also contributed to Avatar 3’s story.

What is the plot of Avatar 3?

A smiling Na'vi looks at the camera in Avatar: The Way of Water.
20th Century Studios

Many of the plot details of Avatar 3 are under wraps. However, Cameron has revealed some tidbits on what to expect in the third film. One of the notable changes to Avatar 3 is that Lo’ak will serve as the new narrator. Jake previously narrated Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water.

Avatar 3 will explore a different element on Pandora. Avatar introduced the jungle-based Omaticaya clan, and The Way of Water focused on the oceanic Metkayina tribe. Avatar 3 will reportedly explore two new Na’vi cultures. One of the expected tribes is the “Ash People,” a fire-dwelling, aggressive clan. Cameron plans to show that not all Na’vi are good.

“The fire will be represented by the ‘Ash People.’ I want to show the Na’vi from another angle because, so far, I have only shown their good sides,” Cameron told the French outlet 20 Minutes (translated via Total Film). “In the early films, there are very negative human examples and very positive Na’vi examples. In Avatar 3, we will do the opposite. We will also explore new worlds, 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.”

What happened at the end of Avatar: The Way of Water?

An alien pets a whale in Avatar: The Way of Water.
20th Century Studios

Several storylines that happened at the end of Avatar: The Way of Water will likely carry over into Avatar 3. Spider saved his father, Colonel Miles Quaritch, from drowning. However, Spider rejected Quaritch and rejoined Jake’s family. Expect Quaritch to continue his vengeful quest against Jake in the third film.

After a vicious fight against the Resources Development Administration (RDA), Jake conducts a funeral for his son, Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), laying his body to rest with the Metkayina ancestors at sea. To thank them for their help in the fight for Pandora, the Metkayina clan invites Jake and his family to join the oceanic tribe. The Sullys accept the invitation. However, Jake remains committed to his fight against the RDA.

Is there a trailer for Avatar 3?

A Na'vi sits on a whale and looks at a ship.
20th Century Studios

No trailer for Avatar 3 has been released. The first footage from Avatar: The Way of Water premiered at CinemaCon in April 2022. However, The Way of Water footage did not hit the internet until May 9, 2022.

Like Avatar 3, The Way of Water also had a December premiere date. If Avatar 3 follows the same pattern, expect a teaser trailer to arrive in spring 2025.

Avatar 3 will not be called The Seed Bearer

A pair of Na'vi comfort each other in the water while flames spread around them in a scene from Avatar: The Way of Water.
20th Century Studios

In 2018, BBC News reported that the titles of Avatar’s sequels would be Avatar: The Way of Water, Avatar: The Seed Bearer, Avatar: The Tulkun Rider, and Avatar: The Quest for Eywa. In 2019, Cameron told ET that the leaked titles were “in consideration” to be used for the sequels. In December 2023, Landau debunked The Seed Bearer as the third film’s title.

“I’m qualified to tell you that that is not the title for Avatar 3,” Landau told at an event for the Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora video game. “That’s what my Wikipedia page says? That is getting changed tonight!”

Avatar 3 will focus more on character over spectacle

A blue-skinned Na'vi child swims underwater in a scene from Avatar: The Way of Water.
20th Century Studios

Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water have been praised for their groundbreaking visuals and technological advancements. Many critics and fans have called both films cinematic achievements. While Avatar 3 will certainly be a visual marvel, Cameron revealed to GQ that the third film will focus on character over spectacle.

“The big [creative] advance in this movie is just going to be greater character depth. We’re seeing new cultures, new creatures — all the same stuff you’d expect from an Avatar movie, but the whole idea of this cycle of films is to live with these people and go on this epic journey with them,” Cameron said. “So I think it’s not 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.”

Zoe Saldaña teases Ash People and Avatar 4

While promoting Emilia Perez at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, Saldaña spoke to Deadline about the upcoming Avatar sequels. Saldaña confirmed that she will soon return to Manhattan Beach, California, to continue work on Avatar 4 and 5. Saldaña also confirmed that the “evil volcano people,” also described as the volcanic Ash People, are on the way. “Brace yourselves,” Saldaña said, teasing the arrival of new characters and actors in the next three Avatar films.

“Being in Pandora has also been a very powerful and life-changing milestone in my life,” Saldaña added. “I will never take that for granted.”

Will there be more films after Avatar 3?

Jake and his family flying on banshees in "Avatar: The Way of Water."
20th Century Studios

Avatar 3 will not be the final film in the series. Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 are scheduled to be released on December 21, 2029, and December 19, 2031, respectively.

Cameron has expressed plans for Avatar 6 and Avatar 7, though the filmmaker told People he would probably be “handing the baton on at that point” to another director.

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