How Many Avatar Films Is Cameron Making? Quite a Few…
Production has wrapped on Avatar 2, Avatar 3, and part of Avatar 4 but James Cameron has plans for even more films in the franchise…
The first and only Avatar movie to date got released in 2009 and went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time, surpassing Cameron’s previous movie, Titanic. It has been quite a while since 2009 and the first sequel to 2009’s Avatar will launch later this year – it’s called Avatar: The Way of Water.
James Cameron has always maintained that Avatar would be a franchise, meaning there would be multiple films. But I don’t think anyone thought there’d be more than three. The good news, if you’re an Avatar fan, is that production has already wrapped on Avatar 2, Avatar 3, and part of Avatar 4, and if that wasn’t enough there are plans for a fifth movie too.
Every Confirmed Avatar Film (So Far…)
- Avatar: The Way of Water – Release Date 2022
- Avatar 3 – Production Completed, Release Date 2024
- Avatar 4 – Script Completed, Production Partially Completed, Release Date 2026.
- Avatar 5 – Script Written, Not Yet In Production; Release Date 2028
As you can see above, Disney will be pumping out new Avatar every other year from now until 2028, starting with Avatar: The Way of Water later this year.
Avatar 5 Confirmed, Script Written…
Avatar: The Way of Water producer, John Landau, has confirmed that scripts have been written for four additional films, so we have the first Avatar movie; the sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water which is coming out in December 2022; and then Avatar 3, Avatar 4, and Avatar 5, with production now wrapped on both Avatar 3 and part of Avatar 4.
Landau confirmed that a script has been written for a fifth Avatar movie, although production has not yet started on that movie. I get the feeling that Disney, while said to be extremely confident in the franchise, is holding off on starting production on Avatar 5 until it sees how the other films perform in cinemas. It has been quite a while since audiences saw the first movie, after all.
We have 4 more planned. We have 2, 3, 4, and 5. Those scripts are all written. We’ve completed productions on 2, 3, and part of movie 4, so we’re ready. Let’s get through 2, 3, 4, and 5, and then— look, the ideas are there, the story ideas. You know, Pandora, we always look at as a metaphor for our world and you can tell an unlimited number of stories in our world. You can tell an unlimited number of stories on Pandora.Source
The Huge, Incoming Avatar Universe…
The idea seems to be to create something akin to what Marvel has done with its franchise – or Star Wars before it. Cameron created a universe, focused on Pandora, filled it with creatures and mythology, and the new films will build on these themes, as the Pandora natives interact more and more with humans hellbent on taking over their world.
Disney is no stranger to milking a franchise for all its worth and if it can do with Avatar what it did with the MCU and Star Wars, this will only serve to further cement it as the preeminent movie studio on the planet. It will also add in a huge number of new subscribers to its Disney+ streaming platform which forms a huge part of Disney’s long-term strategy.
This is why it has plans for an Alien TV series, a Bladerunner TV series, and even a Predator TV series and new films, as well as more Marvel and Star Wars content. It’s all part of Disney’s focus on building huge, multi-billion dollar franchises that will generate ungodly amounts of money, ensure endless subscriber growth on its streaming platforms, and allow it to keep building new attractions at its parks.
Landau claims the story possibilities for Pandora and the Avatar universe are “virtually endless” which is why he has not ruled out making more films after Avatar 5. As for whether Cameron will be involved post-Avatar 5, no one really knows. I guess it all depends on how audiences react to the first new Avatar films, starting with Avatar: The Way of Water which will hit cinemas in December 2022.
But the fact that Disney has confirmed at least five movies tells me the company is supremely confident in Cameron’s vision for this new Avatar universe that will begin taking shape later this year. From merchandising to new attractions at Disney World, a new, powerful franchise like Avatar with global appeal will help Disney generate billions in profits in the coming years.
But, again, it will all be contingent on the first couple of films being successful. If Avatar: The Way of Water flops, or its follow-up, Disney could be left looking rather silly. I don’t see this happening, to be honest, James Cameron – at least as of right now – seems to be unable to make a bad film.
But there’s always a chance; not every director is immune from making a flop. It happens to the best of them – just look at Spielberg, he’s got a wrap sheet of clangers on his CV these days. And I bet more than a few Disney execs are rather nervous about the company’s faith in the project…