‘Avatar 3’ Enters Intensive Post-Production Phase, Commits to Exclusive Filming in New Zealand for the Foreseeable Future

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James Cameron recently discussed the status of “Avatar 3” during a press conference in New Zealand, describing the ongoing post-production phase as “hectic.” He confirmed that the film is scheduled for release around Christmas 2025, following a period of extensive post-production work.

Disney had previously adjusted the release dates for Cameron’s upcoming “Avatar” sequels, expanding the franchise’s timeline into 2031. Originally planned to be released two years apart, the dates for “Avatar 3,” “Avatar 4,” and “Avatar 5” were rescheduled. Now, “Avatar 3” is set to premiere on Dec. 19, 2025; “Avatar 4” on Dec. 21, 2029; and “Avatar 5” on Dec. 19, 2031. This schedule would mark 22 years since the debut of the original “Avatar” movie in 2009.

The second film in the series, titled “Avatar: The Way of Water,” released in December 2022 after a 13-year gap from the original. Despite initial doubts about its success, the sequel exceeded expectations and generated $2.3 billion in global box office revenue, becoming the third-highest-grossing film in history.

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Actress Zoe Saldaña, who stars in the “Avatar” series, humorously reflected on the extended release schedule, noting that she would be 53 by the time the final film hits theaters. Her co-star Sam Worthington, who portrays Jake Sully in the franchise, will be 55, and James Cameron himself will be 77 years old upon the release of the last film.

Cameron has hinted at new elements in “Avatar 3,” including the introduction of a more antagonistic race of Na’vi called the Ash People. This group, led by Varang, portrayed by Oona Chaplin, is described as an aggressive and volcanic faction within the Na’vi community.

During the New Zealand press conference, Cameron reaffirmed his commitment to shooting all upcoming “Avatar” films and any other projects he directs in the country. He praised New Zealand for its economic benefits, cultural prestige, and the opportunities it provides for aspiring young talents to showcase their skills on a global stage. Cameron announced his intention to become a New Zealand citizen in 2024, solidifying his dedication to making the country his permanent movie-making home.