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Director James Cameron Provides Update on “Avatar 3” and Working in New Zealand

Director James Cameron talks Avatar 3

Director James Cameron was speaking at a recent breakfast for public broadcaster TV New Zealand when he offered some updates on “Avatar 3,” the next film in the series.

The Details

Cameron has been working in New Zealand since 2005, when the first “Avatar” movie started development, and the filmmaker used the breakfast to both celebrate New Zealand as his main production hub, announcing his plan to make movies there “indefinitely,” as well as revealing that he will finally become a New Zealand citizen in 2024.

“We’re into a very hectic two years of post-production right now,” Cameron confirmed when asked about the third “Avatar” movie. “So it will be Christmas of 2025.”

Disney, which acquired the Avatar franchise during the FOX merger years ago, announced this summer that Cameron’s three upcoming “Avatar” sequels – “Avatar” three through five – were being pushed back on the release calendar, extending the franchise into 2031.

The original plan prior to the release of “Avatar: The Way of Water” last December was to release a sequel every two years., meaning “Avatar 3” would have been released in December 2024.

But now “Avatar 3” is opening on Dec. 19, 2025; “Avatar 4” on Dec. 21, 2029; and “Avatar 5” on Dec. 19, 2031.

For those keeping track, that will means Cameron will be 77 when “Avatar 5” is released.

Avatar: The Way of Water

Cameron has teased that “Avatar 3” will introduce a more antagonistic race of Na’vi, one that deals with the element of fire.

Cameron also told Entertainment Weekly in late 2022 that he shot scenes from a proposed “Avatar 3” and “Avatar 4” concurrently with the first sequel, mainly to deal with the issue of the younger actors aging out of their characters. So the director already has plenty of footage to work with.

The filmmaker has been working on the all of the “Avatar” films with Weta FX, which is also based in New Zealand, a partnership that garnered the team that worked on “Avatar: The Way of Water” a HPA award this week for “Outstanding Visual Effects — Live-Action Feature.”

Watch the Interview

Here is the conversation with Cameron, if you’d like to watch. In addition to speaking on the “Avatar” movies, he talks about how he is giving back to the New Zealand film community.