"Avatar: The Way of Water" Is Only the Second of 5 Planned Avatar Movies
James Cameron's "Avatar: The Way of Water" has been in the works for a long time — 12 years, to be exact. The sequel premieres in theaters on Dec. 16, and it reintroduces viewers to the universe of the Na'vi and their planet, Pandora, which is under siege by humans who have burned out all of their natural resources and are now looking to take over another world. This time, viewers have the opportunity to meet Jake Sully and Neytiri's family of seven, which includes three kids of their own, as well as two adopted children.
"Avatar: The Way of Water" is the second Avatar movie to hit theaters, but Cameron has a very ambitious plan for the franchise. He plans on a total of five Avatar movies — and don't expect a decade-long break in between the next few, because Cameron has already begun filming the third and fourth movies, completing much of the live-action footage for the third at the same time as the second.
"'2' is fully in the can. We have a working cut that we're filling in the visual effects within," he said in a 2021 interview with Variety. "I feel pretty confident with that film. '3' is still a bit shadowy. It's way too long. I haven't really turned my energy into a disciplined cutting process on that yet. But I know I've got the performances. That's the important thing. I've done all the capture. I've done most of the live action shooting."
The fourth and fifth Avatar movies haven't actually been greenlit yet by Disney, per Cinemablend, but the third installment is slated to premiere on Dec. 24, 2024, according to Collider. But don't expect more of the same, as each movie will explore a different biome, producer Jon Landau told Collider. "I think we're gonna continue to raise the bar with the storytelling first," he said. "I think that what we're gonna do is go out and meet new clans. We're gonna go out and see different biomes, and that's gonna present its own technological challenges. How do we present those? Just like water presented challenges in this one."
"Avatar: The Way of Water" premieres in theaters on Dec. 16. Ahead, check out the movies that have come out so far.
The first movie in the franchise premiered in 2009. It grossed $2.9 billion at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing film ever, per Axios. Its plot centers around paraplegic Marine veteran Jake Sully, who joins a mission to extract resources from the lush extrasolar moon Pandora, only to switch over to the side of its inhabitants, the Na'vi.
"Avatar: The Way of Water" (2022)
"Avatar: The Way of Water" premieres in theaters on Dec. 16 and continues the story that began in the first movie. It follows Jake Sully and his family as they face an ongoing threat from Earth's Resources Development Administration, including a clone of Colonel Quaritch, whose memories have been encoded into a Na'vi body, making him a more formidable threat than ever.