In a new interview with People magazine, filmmaker James Cameron says the third “Avatar” currently remains on track for a December 2025 release.
In fact, he says things are moving much smoother on the third one production-wise than the second as it’s “much more straightforward”.
Part of that reason is post-production process got interrupted and rebooted multiple times due to the pandemic, resulting in a “scramble to get it done”.
Separately he spoke with GQ magazine where he says expanding the story of “Avatar” across numerous films allows him to prioritise character:
“The big [creative] advance in [‘Avatar 3’] 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.
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.”
He also touched upon the fourth film in the People interview, which we know he shot parts of around the same time as the second and third were in production.
The reason that was done was to ensure age continuity among his characters due to the fourth film seeing a time jump. Today he revealed just how long that jump is:
“We did the [motion capture] capture on three and the live-action photography on three as an intermingled production with [‘Avatar: The Way of Water’], and we even did part of movie four because our young characters are all going to have a big time jump in movie four.
We see them and then we go away for six years and we come back, and so the part where we come back is the part we haven’t shot yet. So we’ll start on that after three is released.”
That is partly why there is a four year gap between the third and fourth films with the latter not arriving in cinemas until December 19th 2029 followed by the fifth in 2031 – over two decades after the original hit cinemas.