Everything We Know

Everything We Know About James Cameron's Avatar Sequels

With the first of the sequels scheduled for 2021, we look back at all we know about who's in them, what they're about, and how they're being made.

by | June 17, 2019 | Comments

20th Century Fox
(Photo by 20th Century Fox)

When we last saw the final images of James Cameron’s blockbuster 2009 film Avatar, all humans, with the exceptions of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and a select few others, had been expelled from the Na’vi planet of Pandora and sent back to Earth. Lucky Jake was then transferred permanently into his avatar with the aid of the Tree of Souls.

In the decade since, children have grown up and parents have welcomed grandchildren waiting for sequels that never arrived. Snapchat launched. The Cubs won a World Series. Why the interminable delay? Cameron, a renowned perfectionist, had to wait until the technologies for underwater CGI caught up to his ambitious visions of a world completely submerged in H2O. Now that it finally has, Cameron’s master plan is in place: he’s shooting four sequels back to back, two at a time.

To say this is the longest anticipated wait for a sequel in movie history would not be an understatement: Avatar remains the highest-grossing movie of all time with $2.8 billion worldwide at the box office.

Speaking at a Vivid event in Sydney, Cameron told vfxblog, “I guarantee one thing: Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5 are all going to be in 3-D and they will look sumptuous… they will be, to the best of my ability, the best 3-D that’s possible to make.”

Who’s In Them?

20th Century Fox
(Photo by 20th Century Fox)

Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and CCH Pounder will reprise their original roles, with Sigourney Weaver, who played Dr. Grace Augustine in Avatar, expected to return in a different role. Notable newcomers include Titanic star Kate Winslet, Game Of Thrones’ Oona Chaplin (granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin), David Thewlis (the Harry Potter films), and Cliff Curtis (Fear The Walking Dead).

If your favorite character died in the first film, not to worry. Cameron is bringing back Stephen Lang as Col. Quartich, last seen expiring from two arrows embedded in his chest, for all four films.  The director sounds pretty excited about it, as he told Empire Online:

“The interesting conceit of the Avatar sequels is it’s pretty much the same characters…. There are new characters and a lot of new settings and creatures, so I’m taking characters you know and putting them in unfamiliar places and moving them on this greater journey. But it’s not a whole bunch of new characters every time. There’s not a new villain every time, which is interesting. Same guy. Same motherf–ker through all four movies. He is so good and he just gets better. I know Stephen Lang is gonna knock this out of the park.”

What Are They About?

20th Century Fox
(Photo by 20th Century Fox)

Plotlines are being kept under wraps, but we know the films will be set on Pandora. A year ago, Cameron gave a thematic overview to Gizmodo: “I found myself as a father of five starting to think about what would an Avatar story be like if it was a family drama, if it was The Godfather… So, that’s really what it is. It’s a generational family saga. And that’s very different from the first film.”

And way back in 2010, Vulture quoted Cameron discussing his plans for Avatar 2. “Part of my focus in the second film is in creating a different environment — a different setting within Pandora. And I’m going to be focusing on the ocean on Pandora, which will be equally rich and diverse and crazy and imaginative, but it just won’t be a rain forest. I’m not saying we won’t see what we’ve already seen; we’ll see more of that as well.”

What Were The Technical Challenges?

Mark Fellman/20th Century Fox
(Photo by Mark Fellman/20th Century Fox)

Shooting with complicated underwater motion-capture technology is, as you might expect, difficult. Cameron told Collider, “The problem with water is not the underwater part, but the interface between the air and the water, which forms a moving mirror… Basically, whenever you add water to any problem, it just gets ten times harder.”

While Cameron says that water will be a part of Avatar 4 and 5, the real emphasis will be on 2 and 3.

When Will They Come Out?

20th Century Fox
(Photo by 20th Century Fox)

As reported back in May, Avatar 2 will premiere on December 17, 2021, almost 12 years to the day after the original’s premiere. Sequels 3, 4, and 5 will roll out December 2023, December 2025, and December 2027 respectively.

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

YouTube AMC BBC technology History Apple TV Plus teaser crossover Winter TV halloween The Arrangement Winners TV renewals romance thriller Musical ITV First Look politics Comedy Central Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt CNN Disney Channel versus period drama Cannes Polls and Games Warner Bros. Video Games 21st Century Fox Action medical drama DGA dc IFC NYCC Film TCA Countdown Pop free movies cancelled TV series SXSW CBS Valentine's Day YA Spectrum Originals Esquire Rocky Lifetime CW Seed 2019 Toys Pixar Film Festival 2017 Binge Guide travel YouTube Premium police drama Netflix Shondaland what to watch 2015 BET APB Spike Nominations Amazon Prime ratings rotten movies we love blaxploitation Pet Sematary Arrowverse Star Wars casting Mindy Kaling MCU Spring TV Paramount PBS psycho Mary Poppins Returns The Walking Dead based on movie Watching Series ESPN crime thriller Holiday Song of Ice and Fire cancelled television The Witch singing competition cooking Star Trek Emmys Turner Classic Movies Ovation Oscars San Diego Comic-Con Ellie Kemper spain The CW breaking bad Food Network anthology Starz Elton John Rocketman disaster aliens TCM Disney Plus PaleyFest comics quibi comiccon Reality ghosts christmas movies talk show ABC Family Women's History Month Family nature Hallmark Christmas movies GIFs Nat Geo Thanksgiving Tumblr Tarantino FXX Opinion Vudu 24 frames robots 2018 Extras joker Western cinemax witnail First Reviews spy thriller harry potter Classic Film National Geographic blockbuster FX Apple doctor who natural history Marvel dceu unscripted American Society of Cinematographers Grammys Box Office hist stand-up comedy 20th Century Fox Stephen King Amazon political drama Teen slashers FOX Superheroes Summer boxoffice Shudder 007 Netflix Christmas movies Epix Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Creative Arts Emmys Columbia Pictures Country latino USA Network game show Cosplay Awards Tour adventure Election serial killer Universal Masterpiece Trailer MSNBC Cartoon Network Lucasfilm ABC Year in Review transformers batman mockumentary 45 space Writers Guild of America Sony Pictures Sundance cancelled TV shows psychological thriller Superheroe TBS true crime WGN NBC social media New York Comic Con sports award winner Mary poppins HBO Max Nickelodeon Photos Amazon Prime Video Music RT21 canceled tv talk Awards WarnerMedia adaptation OWN series vampires X-Men Quiz Disney streaming service Sneak Peek Calendar Trophy Talk spider-man Pirates werewolf Mary Tyler Moore VH1 kids science fiction independent Infographic TruTV TV Drama Adult Swim animated USA 71st Emmy Awards composers south america See It Skip It zombie Character Guide renewed TV shows GLAAD The Purge Black Mirror Logo Sci-Fi Marathons canceled TV shows theme song Heroines Lionsgate TNT Fox News Interview Set visit SDCC Musicals Disney Ghostbusters golden globes sitcom Captain marvel Christmas E! Certified Fresh Lifetime Christmas movies IFC Films TIFF romantic comedy Trivia Comic Book Peacock spanish language Biopics Marvel Studios anime television richard e. Grant BBC America biography TLC comic indie toy story screenings Hallmark mutant Super Bowl LGBTQ streaming finale zombies cops Rock Premiere Dates green book Comics on TV Fall TV binge LGBT Acorn TV Martial Arts HBO festivals war CMT President cults Showtime Comedy E3 jamie lee curtis sequel game of thrones revenge cartoon RT History hispanic Emmy Nominations A&E discovery El Rey cats crime drama Marvel Television Mudbound Freeform strong female leads Apple TV+ docudrama video historical drama Anna Paquin Rom-Com miniseries Holidays crime TCA 2017 Sundance Now MTV Television Academy cancelled Crackle supernatural Podcast 2016 Fantasy elevated horror Schedule dragons GoT CBS All Access justice league foreign Horror A24 spinoff Walt Disney Pictures cars DC Comics DC Universe Paramount Network Dark Horse Comics Disney+ Disney Plus VICE Red Carpet Tomatazos DirecTV Turner DC streaming service book Kids & Family Crunchyroll Animation SundanceTV facebook zero dark thirty Bravo Best and Worst Syfy Pride Month dramedy movies Brie Larson diversity children's TV YouTube Red Chernobyl Hulu Reality Competition Mystery TV Land Britbox