Avatar: The Way of Water broke box office records, so there’s already anticipation for the next Avatar release, and though they’re far from release, there’s information on every upcoming Avatar movie. Despite coming more than a decade after the first Avatar became the highest-grossing movie of all time, Avatar 2 proved all of James Cameron’s doubters wrong by being both a financial success and receiving acclaim during the 2023 awards season. While Cameron insisted the rest of his planned trilogy would depend on how the first sequel performed, the success of Avatar: The Way of Water cemented the fact that there will be many more adventures on Pandora to come.
Avatar followed paraplegic Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), who was given a cloned avatar body (synthesized from the DNA of his deceased twin brother) to infiltrate the Na’vi people on Pandora on behalf of Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang). Jake became close to the Na’vi people through Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and helped lead them to defeat Quaritch. Avatar: The Way of Water picks up with Jake and Neytiri’s family on the run from the new forces from Earth, led by Quaritch’s avatar. They seek refuge among the water tribe and learn their ways, vastly expanding the franchise lore and giving hints at where the next Avatar movies will go.
Avatar: The Seed Bearer – December 20, 2024
Avatar 3 has been shot back-to-back with Avatar 2, and the next Avatar movie currently has a working title of Avatar: The Seed Bearer. A majority of the cast is expected to return, including Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana, Giovanni Ribisi, and Stephen Lang. The third movie will also see several new cast members joining the franchise, including David Thewlis, Oona Chaplin, and Everything Everywhere All At Once‘s Michelle Yeoh.
No specifics about the Avatar 3 story have been revealed, but the title could contain a hidden plot hint. In the first Avatar film, Quaritch destroyed the Tree of Souls, a sacred tree to the Na’vi. From the Tree of Souls come woodsprites, tiny dandelion-like seeds which hold religious significance for the Na’vi. The Seed Bearer could focus on the Na’vi attempting to rebuild the Tree of Souls, searching for woodsprites across Pandora.
An interesting development for Avatar 3 comes from the introduction of the fire tribe as promised by Cameron. The fire tribe will represent a more villainous faction of the Na’vi which is a very exciting new direction needed for the Avatar movies. Oona Chaplin is also confirmed to play the tribe’s chief and perhaps a villain to rival Quaritch.
In more recent Avatar 3 movie news, the threequel may have to undergo reshoots Sigourney Weaver revealed. The actor explained about Cameron, “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.” Given that those reshoots will come with a ton of post-production and digital effects work, it’s cutting it fine with the 2024 release date, especially given that Avatar: The Way of Water had 13 years of development.
Avatar: The Tulkun Rider – December 18, 2026
The second upcoming Avatar movie, Avatar 4, will be shot back-to-back with Avatar 5, and is currently set to release in December 2026. The title for Avatar 4 is Avatar: The Tulkun Rider. Again, a majority of the cast is expected to return for this fourth film. The Tulkun were first introduced in Avatar: The Way of Water, playing a big role in the sequel with Lo’ak defriending the Paykan, an exiled Tulkun.
The title for Avatar 4 could be referring to the Paykan, but there is likely more involved as the Tulkun have a deep connection to the water tribe. This would also track with Cameron’s comments hinting at the Water Tribe’s significance throughout the remaining Avatar movies. It has also been explained by producer John Landau (via Bleeding Cool) that there will be a time jump in Avatar 4 and some parts of the movie being filmed to avoid the young cast aging too quickly. Landau explained, “The first act [is already shot]. Because truth be told, there’s a time cut after the end of the first act [of Avatar 4], and we needed to get all the kids before they got older and shoot all that out.”
While the time jump doesn’t reveal much about the narrative, those who have read the Avatar 4 script have been blown away. After complaining about studio notes about the first two movies, Cameron noted, “When I turned in the script for 4, the studio executive, creative executive over the films wrote me an email that said, ‘Holy f***.’ And I said, ‘Well, where are the notes?’ And she said, ‘Those are the notes.'” (via Collider). Though just as excited, Weaver was a little more modest about the Avatar 4 script, noting, “I have read 4… It’s an incredible story – everyone should hold on to their hats (via USA Today).
Avatar: The Quest for Eywa – December 22, 2028
The final upcoming Avatar film will be Avatar: The Quest for Eywa. Following the release schedule of two years between each Avatar movie, this final Avatar adventure will arrive in December 2028. The title refers to the goddess deity known as Eywa worshipped by the Na’vi and said to be the lifeforce that connects everything on the planet Pandora. This means Avatar 5 could likely deal with Eywa directly, possibly discovering the source of the deity on Pandora.
As Avatar 5 is obviously the furthest away, there are fewer Avatar movie updates than there are for the threequel. However, it has been confirmed that of the Na’vi returning to Earth in Avatar 5, Kiri is one of them, which is the key to completing Kiri and Quaritch’s arcs. Kiri can learn more about her mother, Dr. Grace on Earth, as well as find out who her father is. Returning to Earth could even be a fish-out-of-water tale for Colonel Quaritch, as he’s now in a Na’vi body and likely wouldn’t fit in, getting a taste of his own medicine when he’s inevitably outcast from society.
The Avatar franchise bringing the action to Earth could mean several things, from Na’vi refugees being forced to leave Pandora, to an all-out war in Avatar 5 during which the Na’vi invade Earth. While there’s still a considerable wait until the next Avatar movie, there are still a lot of exciting things to come in the future of the franchise in the next five years.