Avatar 3: Release date, name, cast, plot, more

Lawrence Scotti
Still from Avatar 2, The Way of Water20th Century Studios

Avatar 3 – the threequel in James Cameron’s blockbuster sci-fi franchise – is in the works. Here’s what we know, from its release date, to cast, and plot.

Avatar: The Way of Water, the first sequel to James Cameron’s highest-grossing movie of all time, arrived in cinemas last year and quickly became one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. In our review, we called it “an awe-inspiring, cinematic hallelujah; James Cameron is back, and maybe he is the king of the world after all.”

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However, while there’s massive hype for the sequel, this is not the end: Cameron has long had his eyes set on not just Avatar 2, but multiple sequels down the line including Avatar 3, 4, and 5, if not 6 and 7.

Avatar 3 is not only a planned future project but already has completed filming, and its cast and release date have already been confirmed – so, here’s what we know about the sequel so far, and what its name may be.

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Avatar 3 release date: When is it coming out?

Avatar 3 will be released on December 19, 2025.

This will be followed by the fourth on December 21, 2029, and Avatar 5 on December 19, 2031.

These announced changes are substantial: Avatar 3 was originally set for release on December 20, 2024, followed by the fourth on December 18, 2026, and Avatar 5 on December 22, 2028.

Considering The Way of Water endured years of delays, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it pushed back along the 2020s – however, James Cameron has apparently already turned in a cut… that’s nine hours long.

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While he’s aired caution over the chances of Avatar 4 and 5, citing the necessary box office performance to make them feasible for Disney, he seems “pretty sure” audiences will be returning to Pandora soon.

“We’ve already done the bulk of the work. We still have to go through the whole finish process with Wētā FX on Avatar 3. But I’m pretty sure that we’re going to be back here in a couple of years,” he told Digital Spy.

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In an interview with the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Gazette, production designer Ben Procter said: “We’re working on [Avatar] 3 right now, trying to get it out the door with the visual effects [and] handoff process. Before anything could be rendered, Jim’s got these cameras, right? That’s where the shots come from [and is] a step that you know before you hand it off. We’re busily improving and prepping the sets to get ready for that process.

“As far as teasing anything more, that is not in my job description. That’s maybe in John Jon Landau’s if you try, [but] that is not mine. All I can say is that we started on this in 2013, with a team that grew and contains so many wonderful people. We’ve been working on it as an overall world, with many interesting places to go and things to see from the very beginning. And so I’ll just say, I can’t tell you what’s coming, but I can tell you a lot of cool stuff is coming.”

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There had been concerns the movie could be delayed due to the writers’ and actors’ strikes, but with new deals struck with both unions, it appears Avatar 3’s release date is safe.

As of February 2024, Avatar 3 is currently in production, according to Sam Worthington.

Avatar 3 name: What’s it called?

Avatar 3 doesn’t have a confirmed name. While previous rumors suggested it’d be called The Seed Bearer, that has since been debunked by the movie’s producer.

During a recent event for new video game Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, franchise producer Jon Landeau set rumors about the supposed Avatar 3 title straight to ComicBook.com.

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“I’m qualified to tell you that that is not the title for Avatar 3,” Landau stated. “That’s what my Wikipedia page says? That is getting changed tonight!”

The rumors came from an earlier BBC News report, which cited official documentation revealing the titles of the next movies: Avatar: The Seed Bearer, Avatar: The Tulkun Rider, and Avatar: The Quest for Eywa.

Avatar 3 cast: Who’s in it?

Avatar 3 is set to have a star-studded cast list full of veteran actors, many of who are reprising their roles from the first two Avatar films.

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Here are all of the human characters in the cast of the movie:

  • Giovanni Ribisi as Parker Selfridge
  • Dileep Rao as Dr. Max Patel
  • Joel David Moore as Dr. Norm Spellman
  • Edie Falco as General Frances Ardmore
  • Michelle Yeoh as Dr. Karina Mogue
  • Jemaine Clement as Dr. Ian Garvin

Here are all of the Na’vi characters that will appear in Avatar 3:

  • Sam Worthington as Jake Sully
  • Sigourney Weaver as Kiri
  • Zoe Saldaña as Neytiri
  • Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch
  • CCH Pounder as Mo’at
  • Cliff Curtis as Tonowari
  • Matt Gerald as Corporal Lyle Wainfleet
  • Oona Chaplin as Varang
  • David Thewlis

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Yeoh said: “Yes, I am in the Avatar sequels and as you know we can’t really talk very much about it.

“But it’s James Cameron! Come on! I would be the tea lady for James Cameron! We shot for a few weeks, and I was so impressed with the work that he’s done, the work that he’s doing, the energy. He’s a genius, he’s a walking genius. And I really really enjoyed the experience and I can’t wait to go back soon, I hope.”

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While some may be surprised to see Lang back as Quaritch, given his death in the first movie, there’s clearly big plans in store for his character.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Lang said: “Whatever you may expect, I hope the character defies that. I hope people feel surprised by what he goes through and what he becomes, I think you will recognize him, albeit I will be in a different framework. But I think you will recognize the attitude, the swagger, the qualities of leadership that he has. 

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“I think if you have expectations of that, those will be fulfilled. Also, he is always looking for a fight. That is what he is there for, that is his mission. But I do believe there will be some surprises as we continue to mine this character for everything that he is worth. Because there really would be no point in bringing the role back just to repeat itself, that would be pointless, it would be uninteresting. So expect the unexpected, that is what I would say.”

Avatar 3 plot: What is it about?

While plot details for Avatar 3 haven’t been confirmed, it’s expected to follow directly from the events of The Way of Water – you can check out our breakdown of the sequel’s ending here.

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Speaking to France’s 20 Minutes, Cameron outlined how the plot of Avatar 3 will highlight another element: fire.

“To cultures different from those I have already shown. The fire will be represented by the ‘Ash People.’ I want to reveal the Na’vi from another angle because, for the moment, I have only shown their good sides,” he said.

“In the early films, there are very negative human examples and very positive Na’vi 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.”

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While a specific journey for the Sully family hasn’t yet been outlined, Cameron has confirmed Jake Sully won’t be serving as the narrator in the third chapter. Although he led the charge in the first two acts, his eldest son Lo’ak will now be narrating film number three.

“Lo’ak really emerged as a character that people went with,” Cameron said on the ‘Soundtracking with Edith Bowman‘ podcast, as first reported by AVclub. ” “So I might find ways to… he’s already the narrator. I’m giving away something here, but this is ok.”

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Moving forward, this will be a trend that continues down the line. A new narrator will step up for each of the subsequent films, starting with Lo’ak in Avatar 3.

If Avatar 2 fails to perform at the box office, Avatar 3 will likely be the conclusion of the franchise. However, already soaring near the top of the highest-grossing list, as one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, there’s no doubt the sequels will go ahead.

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“We’ll probably finish movie three regardless because it’s all shot,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

“We’d have to really crater for it not to seem like it was worth the additional investment. We’d have to leave a smoking hole in the ground. Now, hopefully, we get to tell the whole thing because five’s better than four, four’s better than three, and three’s better than two.”

Cameron recently shot down rumors of a nine-hour cut of Avatar 3, stating he would put “a shotgun in my mouth” if he did.

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Avatar 3 trailer: Is there a trailer?

No, there isn’t a trailer for Avatar 3 – but you can watch the trailer for Avatar 2 below:

While Avatar 3 is said to be “in the can”, it’s not due out for another couple of years, so don’t expect any footage until sometime in 2023.

That’s everything we know about Avatar 3. In the meantime, check out our Avatar 2 coverage below:

Avatar 2 review | Avatar 2 cast and characters | The Way of Water ending explained Best way to watch Avatar 2 | Avatar 2 budget: How much did it cost? | Who dies in Avatar: The Way of Water? | Why did Avatar 2 take so long to make? | What is an Avatar? Na’vi explained | Avatar 2: Tulkun and Amrita explained | Avatar 2 racism accusations | Is there an Avatar 2 director’s cut? | How old is Kiri in Avatar: The Way of Water? | Top 50 highest-grossing movies of all time

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You can also check out our Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora coverage below:

How to restore energy & health | How to fast travel | Can you pet your Ikran? | Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora system requirements | Does Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora have crossplay and cross-progression? | Does Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora have multiplayer or co-op? | Is Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora canon? | Can you play as a human in Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora? | Will Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora be on PS4 and Xbox One?

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About The Author

Lawrence is a former Dexerto writer, based in New York City, who covered entertainment and games for Dexerto focusing on Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, NBA 2K, and any indie game he can review.