Kiri swims under water
(20th Century Studios)

Everything We Know About ‘Avatar 3’ So Far

Time for the fire Na'vi to rise up!

It’s been a little over a month since Avatar: The Way of Water arrived on streaming platforms following its December 2022 theatrical release. A movie 13 years in the making ended up being one of the highest-grossing of all time, even with all the controversies surrounding it—the same issues that arose when the first Avatar movie premiered.

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Of course, the success of The Way of Water meant that all the planned sequels have been greenlit and are very much happening, even more than they already were—so let’s focus on what’s coming next and take a look at what we know so far about Avatar 3.

When is Avatar 3 coming out?

Avatar 3 is scheduled for release on December 19, 2025. 

It was probably going to hit cinemas no matter how The Way of Water fared at the box office since varying reports from members of the cast and crew said that the bulk of principal photography, with the motion capture suits and everything, is almost entirely done and the movie is now in the post-production stage—which will be pretty lengthy considering the special effects.

Avatar 4 and Avatar 5, which are as far as Cameron has planned to take the franchise, are also happening and should be released in 2029 and 2031, respectively. In an interview with the French outlet 20 Minutes, Cameron said, “The last chapters are going to be the best. The others were an introduction, a way of setting the table before serving the meal.”

Jake Sully and Neytiri fly to the Metkayina with their family in Avatar: The Way of Water
To be honest, I just hope the Ikrans are in every single Avatar movie that will be made because I love them so much (20th Century Studios)

What will Avatar 3 be about?

So we know that Avatar 3 is coming but, just like The Way of Water, we can only make educated guesses at what it will be about—though we can be certain of one thing and that’s the film’s long runtime. We’re not leaving the cinema before the three-hour mark, that’s for sure.

Jokes aside, the ending of The Way of Water certainly leaves us some clues as to what could possibly go down in Avatar 3. Jake, Neytiri, and their family are now official members of the Metkayina clan, but the war for Pandora is far from over. Stephen Lang’s Miles Quaritch is still alive, for starters, and so is his desire for revenge against the Sully family—one storyline that is sure to hinge heavily on Jack Champion’s Miles “Spider” Socorro.

The humans are also still very much doing their colonialism thing on Pandora from their base at Bridgehead City, so that means that there will be no rest for the Na’vi and their planet. And let’s not forget the issue of Sigourney Weaver’s Kiri—her powers and her deep connection with Eywa have only been touched upon, but there’s undoubtedly much more to explore and we can be certain that her abilities will have a major role to play in the struggle against the humans.

Britain Dalton’s Lo’ak, Jake and Neytiri’s second son, will also undoubtedly step up into a bigger role—together with his Tulkun spirit brother, Payakan, who is confirmed to be returning for Avatar 3—and he’s also reportedly replacing Jake as the movie’s narrator.

Still, the great strength of Avatar has always been the lush world of Pandora, so of course Avatar 3 is going to introduce us to a new part of it just like The Way of Water did. So far we have seen the tree clan, the Omaticaya, and the reef clan, the Metkayina; earth and water. It only makes sense then that Avatar 3 should introduce us to Na’vi that are somehow connected to fire. 

That’s exactly what’s happening with the Ash People—who will certainly get a Na’vi name once we get closer to the movie’s release—who might not be as welcoming as the Metkayina were. In the 20 Minutes interview, Cameron explained his approach to the fire people and their perspective, saying, “[I want] to reveal the Na’vi in a different light since so far I have only shown their good sides. In the first movies, there are extremely negative human characters and extremely positive Na’vi characters. In Avatar 3 we’re going to do the opposite.”

Bailey Bass plays Tsireya, the daughter of the leaders of the Metkayina clan, in Avatar: The Way of Water
If the Metkayina have adapted to live in water, then one can assume that the Ash People will also have some physical attributes that make living in their chosen environment easier for them (20th Century Studios)

Who is coming back for Avatar 3?

There’s definitely much to look forward to when it comes to Avatar 3’s plot, and the same goes for the movie’s cast.

We can expect most of the familiar faces to come back, starting with Sam Worthington as Jake and Zoe Saldaña as Neytiri. Sigourney Weaver, Britain Dalton, Jack Champion, and Trinity Jo-Li Bliss will return as the couples’ children Kiri, Lo’ak, Spider, and Tuktirey, respectively. CCH Pounder is also set to reprise the role of Mo’at, the tsahìk of the Omaticaya and Neytiri’s mother, which means that we might get to see the Sullys’ original clan once more in Avatar 3.

As for the Sullys’ new clan, we can expect both Cliff Curtis and Kate Winslet to return as Tonowari and Ronal, the leaders of the Metkayina. Filip Geljo and Bailey Bass will also reprise their roles of Ao’nung and Tsireya, respectively, Tonowari and Ronal’s son and daughter.

On the human-slash-Avatar side, we know that Stephen Lang’s Quaritch has survived and will definitely come back into the lives of Jake and Neytiri. With him, there will probably be Matt Gerald as Corporal Wainfleet, who, like Quaritch, died in the final battle in the first Avatar movie and whose memories have been placed inside an Avatar body. 

Edie Falco will also return as General Frances Ardmore, the commander of Bridgehead City, and so will Brendan Cowell and Jemaine Clement as Captain Scoresby and Dr. Ian Gavin, respectively—turns out that they didn’t die in the fight against Payakan and are still alive and ready to maybe wreak more havoc on Pandora’s marine wildlife.

Giovanni Ribisi is also scheduled to return to his role as Parker Selfridge, the secondary antagonist in the first Avatar movie and the director of the human base of Hell’s Gate. Dileep Rao will also reprise his role as Dr. Max Patel, one of the few humans chosen to stay on Pandora at the end of the first movie.

There are three major new additions to the cast: Michelle Yeoh, Oona Chaplin, and David Thewlis.

Michelle Yeoh and Oona Chaplin’s roles probably connect the most with what Cameron was saying about wanting to show some positive human characters and some negative Na’vi characters: Yeoh is set to appear as Dr. Karina Mogue, a human scientist, while Chaplin will take on the role of Varang, the leader of the Ash People.

In an interview with EW, Yeoh said that she obviously can’t reveal much about her role but stated, “[They] shot for a few weeks, and I was so impressed with the world that [James Cameron has] done, the world 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.”

As for David Thewlis, not much is known so far about his role, though he will indeed be a Na’vi. His character will be introduced in Avatar 3, but will then stick around through Avatar 5. In an interview with Total Film (via GamesRadar), Thewlis said he’s “fascinated to see how I’m going to look, because they sort of make [the Na’vi] look a bit like oneself. It’s fantastic!”

Of course, Cameron has every intention to continue at the helm of the franchise. In that same 20 Minutes interview, the filmmaker said he’s “ready to prepare everything so that the story can continue without me, even though in the best case scenario I would continue to direct it all. I’m the only one who knows the most minute details of this universe. I’m a ‘control freak’ and letting go of this control isn’t in my nature.”

(featured image: 20th Century Studios)

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Benedetta Geddo
Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.