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'Avatar 3' is an upcoming American epic science fiction film directed, -produced, co-written, and co-edited by James Cameron. It is the third film in Cameron's 'Avatar' franchise, and a sequel to 'Avatar: The Way of Water' (2022). Cameron is producing the film with Jon Landau, with Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver originally announced as his co-writers; it was later announced that Cameron, Jaffa, Silver, Josh Friedman, and Shane Salerno took a part in the writing process of all of the sequels before being assigned to finish the separate scripts, making the eventual writing credits unclear. Cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Dileep Rao, Giovanni Ribisi, Matt Gerald, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, and Oona Chaplin reprise their roles from previous films, with David Thewlis portraying a new character. The film's working title, which Cameron confirmed may become the official name of the film, is 'Avatar: The Seed Bearer'.https://www.etonline.com/james-cameron-reveals-legitimacy-of-avatar-sequel-titles-leak-exclusive-118997
Cameron, who had stated in 2006 that he would like to make sequels to 'Avatar' if it was successful, announced the first two sequels in 2010 following the widespread success of the first film, with 'Avatar 3' aiming for a 2015 release. However, the addition of three more sequels (to the first one), and the necessity to develop new technology in order to film performance capture scenes underwater, a feat never accomplished before, led to significant delays to allow the crew more time to work on the writing, pre-production, and visual effects. 'Avatar 3' started shooting simultaneously with 'Avatar: The Way of Water' in New Zealand on September 25, 2017; filming completed in late-December 2020, after over three years of shooting, despite production being interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The film's theatrical release has been subject to eight delays, with the latest occurring on July 23, 2020; it is scheduled for release on December 20, 2024. Two additional sequels are intended to start shooting as soon as the first two wrap post-production and are expected to be released on December 18, 2026, and December 22, 2028, respectively.
Na'vi* Sam Worthington as Jake Sully, a former human who fell in love with Neytiri and befriended the Na'vi after becoming a part of the Avatar Program, eventually taking their side in their conflict with humans and leading them to victory; at the end of the first film, he becomes the new leader of the Omaticaya (the Na'vi clan central to the story) and transfers his mind into his avatar permanently.
* Zoe Saldana as Neytiri, Jake's consort and daughter to the previous clan chief.
* CCH Pounder as Mo'at, the Omaticaya's spiritual leader and Neytiri's mother.
* Cliff Curtis as Tonowari, the leader of the reef people clan of Metkayina.
* Sigourney Weaver as Kiri, Jake and Neytiri's adoptive teenage daughter. Weaver originally appeared in the first film as Dr. Grace Augustine, a human who takes the side of the Na'vi and dies during the conflict. Although both Weaver and Cameron confirmed that Weaver would return in the sequels, she stated in 2014 that she would not play the same character.
* Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch, a human who led the forces of the RDA, the human organization colonizing Pandora, in their conflict with the Na'vi. Quaritch has been restored to life by the RDA by becoming a Recombinant, a Na'vi Avatar embedded with the memories of a soldier. Although the character died at the end of 'Avatar', Cameron confirmed in 2010 that Lang would return in the first three sequels, stating, "I'm not going to say exactly how we're bringing him back, but it's a science fiction story, after all. His character will evolve into really unexpected places across the arc of our new three-film saga." He later stated that Quaritch would act as the main antagonist once again, in all four sequels.
* David Thewlis in an undisclosed role. Although he stayed secretive about the nature of his character, Thewlis mentioned that he has "a lot to do in [the films]", that his role requires motion capture, and that he will be featured in 'Avatar 3' to '5'. He mentioned in January 2020 that his character was a Na'vi.
Human* Giovanni Ribisi as Parker Selfridge, the corporate administrator for the RDA mining operation in the first film.
* Joel David Moore as Dr. Norm Spellman, a former part of the Avatar Program who chose to side with the Na'vi in the first film.
* Dileep Rao as Dr. Max Patel, a scientist who worked in the Avatar Program and came to support Jake's rebellion against the RDA.
* Edie Falco as General Ardmore, the commander in charge of the RDA's interests.
* Brendan Cowell as Captain Mick Scoresby, the head of a private sector marine hunting vessel on the planet of Pandora.
* Michelle Yeoh as Dr. Karina Mogue
* Jemaine Clement as Dr. Ian Garvin, a marine biologist.
* Matt Gerald as Corporal Lyle Wainfleet, a mercenary who fought for the RDA against the Na'vi in the first film. Despite the death of his character in the previous installment, Gerald was announced to reprise his role in August 2017.
* Oona Chaplin as Varang, a "strong and vibrant central character who spans the entire saga of the sequels".
DevelopmentIn 2006, Cameron stated that if 'Avatar' was successful, he hoped to make two sequels to the film. In 2010, he said the film's widespread success confirmed that he would do so. The sequels were originally scheduled for release in and 2015. He included certain scenes in the first film for future story follow-ups. Cameron planned to shoot the sequels back-to-back and to begin work "once the novel is nailed down". The sequels were confirmed as continuing to follow the characters of Jake and Neytiri in December 2009. Cameron implied that the humans would return as the antagonists of the story. In 2011, Cameron stated his intention to film the sequels at a higher frame rate than the industry standard 24 frames per second, in order to add a heightened sense of reality.
In 2013, Cameron announced that the sequels would be filmed in New Zealand, with performance capture to take place in 2014. An agreement with the New Zealand government required at least one world premiere to be held in Wellington and at least NZ$500 million (approximately US$410 million at December 2013 exchange rates) to be spent on production activity in New Zealand, including live-action filming and visual effects. The New Zealand government announced it would raise its baseline tax rebate for filmmaking from 15% to 20%, with 25% available to international productions in some cases and 40% for New Zealand productions (as defined by section 18 of the New Zealand Film Commission Act 1978).
In February 2016, production of the sequels was scheduled to begin in April 2016 in New Zealand. Cinematographer Russell Carpenter, who worked with Cameron on 'True Lies' and 'Titanic', and art director Aashrita Kamath, joined as crew members for the four sequels. Kirk Krack, founder of Performance Freediving International, worked as a free-diving trainer for the cast and crew for the underwater scenes. On July 31, 2017, it was announced that the New Zealand-based visual effects studio Weta Digital had commenced work on the 'Avatar' sequels.
CastingSam Worthington and Zoe Saldana were confirmed in January 2010 to have signed on to reprise their roles in the sequels. Cameron also stated that Sigourney Weaver would be featured in all three sequels (the fourth one was not planned at the time) and that her character Grace Augustine would be alive, but it was later revealed she would instead be playing Kiri, Jake and Neytiri's adopted daughter. In August 2017, in an interview with Empire, Cameron revealed that Stephen Lang would not only be returning in all four sequels but he would also be the main villain in all four films.
In August 2017, Matt Gerald had officially signed on to portray his first film's role Corporal Lyle Wainfleet in all upcoming sequels. On October 3, 2017, Kate Winslet had signed on in all four sequels for an unspecified role in the film. Cameron commented, "Kate and I had been looking for something to do together for 20 years, since our collaboration on 'Titanic', which was one of the most rewarding of my career", and added that her character was named Ronal. On January 25, 2018, Dileep Rao was confirmed to return as Dr. Max Patel. Winslet commented that her role was "relatively small comparative to the lengthy shoot", as she would only have one month of shootings, but also "a pivotal character in the ongoing story".
In April 2018, David Thewlis revealed his involvement in the franchise, stating that he would be featured in three of the four sequels, later stating in January 2020 that his character was a Na'vi. This led to Thewlis being largely reported as part of the cast of 'Avatar: The Way of Water'; however, he stated in June 2020 that the reports were wrong, and that he would actually be a part of 'Avatar 3' to '5'.
FilmingPrincipal photography on 'Avatar: The Way of Water' and '3' began simultaneously on September 25, 2017, in Manhattan Beach, California. On November 14, 2018, Cameron announced filming with the principal performance capture cast had been completed. Filming on the next two sequels will begin after wrapping the post-production on first two sequels. According to producer Jon Landau, live-action filming for 'Avatar 3' and its predecessor commenced in New Zealand in early 2019. On March 17, 2020, Landau announced that the filming of the 'Avatar' sequel films in New Zealand had been postponed indefinitely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also confirmed that production would remain in Los Angeles. However, work on visual effects will continue at Weta Digital in Wellington.
In early May, health and safety production protocols have been endorsed by the New Zealand government, allowing filming to resume in the country. However the production team for the 'Avatar' sequels has not yet returned to New Zealand. On May 31, part of the 'Avatar' crew including James Cameron were granted entry into New Zealand under a special visa category for border exemptions for foreigners deemed essential to a project of "significant economic value." On June 1, 2020, Landau posted a picture of himself and Cameron on Instagram, showing that they had returned to New Zealand to resume filming. After their arrival, all 55 crew members who had traveled to New Zealand started a 2-week government-supervised isolation period at a hotel in Wellington before they would resume filming. This would make 'Avatar: The Way of Water' and '3' the first major Hollywood blockbusters to resume production after postponing filming due to the pandemic. In September 2020, Cameron announced that 95% of 'Avatar 3' had been completed. Filming wrapped in December 2020.
In early July 2022, the New Zealand Film Commission acknowledged that the 'Avatar' sequels had received over NZ$140 million worth of taxpayer funding via the country's Screen Production Grant. By comparison, 'The Hobbit' trilogy had received NZ$161 million in film subsidies. While ACT party deputy leader Brooke van Velden criticised the Government's film subsidy programme for allegedly diverting public funding from other areas, the Economic Development and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash argued that New Zealand's film subsidies for major Hollywood products brought substantial overseas investment and jobs for the New Zealand film industry.
In August 2021, Landau announced that Simon Franglen would compose the score for the 'Avatar' sequels.
'Avatar 3' is scheduled to be released on December 20, 2024, by 20th Century Studios. Like its predecessor, the film was subjected to eight delays, since the crew took more time on the writing, pre-production and visual effects process. It was originally scheduled for December 2015, until Cameron pushed the release to 2016, 2017 and 2018. In April 2016, coinciding with the launch of four 'Avatar' sequels, a new release date of December 2020 was announced. The following year, a new release date of December 17, 2021 was announced, with the recurring sequels: 'Avatar' '4' and '5' releasing on December 20, 2024 and December 19, 2025, respectively. However, following the announcement of the three upcoming 'Star Wars' films, in May 2019, the sequels' release dates were pushed back to two years, with 'Avatar 3', being scheduled to released on December 22, 2023. The release date was again deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in August 2020, a new release of December 20, 2024 was announced. 'Avatar 3 ' and the forthcoming sequels, will be released in Dolby Vision.
'Avatar 3' is the second of four planned sequels to 'Avatar'. 'Avatar 4' and 'Avatar 5' are planned to follow after the third film's release. Although the last two sequels have been reportedly greenlit, Cameron stated in a November 26, 2017 interview: "Let's face it, if 'Avatar 2' and '3' don't make enough money, there's not going to be a '4' and '5'". David Thewlis later confirmed this in February 2018, stating "they're making '2' and '3', they're gonna see if people go and see them, and then they'll make '4' and '5'". Conversely, Sigourney Weaver stated in November 2018, after the first two sequels had completed main photography, that she was currently "busy doing 'Avatar 4' and '5'", which several media outlets interpreted as confirmation that the last two sequels had started filming. In January 2019, in face of the proposed acquisition of 21st Century Fox by The Walt Disney Company, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that both 'Avatar 4' and 'Avatar 5' are being developed but have not been officially greenlit. According to producer Jon Landau in February 2019, Iger may have been misinterpreted. He said that 'Avatar 4' and '5' "are not only [greenlit]" but also a third of 'Avatar 4' has already been filmed.
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