James Cameron has already teased a few details for the latest installment of the Avatar franchise, Avatar 3, the sequel to the record-smashing success Avatar: The Way of Water.
Despite only having been released on December 16, Way of Water has had a meteoric rise. Beginning with strong critic reactions to its breathtaking visuals, the film then went on to become the fastest box office film to reach the lofty $1 billion milestone in 2022 and has now grossed over $1.28 billion worldwide to date.
Avatar: The Way of Water has been massively successful, and this will be a relief for James Cameron, who pinned the future of the sci-fi epic on box office figures and audience reactions.
Fortunately, the franchise’s future is bright, and Cameron has already shared plot details for Avatar 3.
James Cameron Teases Avatar 3 Plot
In an interview with the French newspaper 20 minutes, director James Cameron has spoken about his plans for Avatar 3.
Audiences can expect a new side of Pandora and its indigenous population, the Na’vi, as Avatar 3 is set to reinvent the wheel and introduce audiences to the “Ash people,” who represent a fiery and volcanic biome.
“Different cultures from those I have already shown. The fire will be represented by the "Ash People"."
However, fire and ash will not be the only new addition, as the director has stated that the third will subvert the way the Na’vi have been presented thus far.
While both Avatar and its sequel presented humans in a “very negative” way and the Na’vi in a “very positive” way, Cameron has said that Avatar 3 “will do the opposite.”
"I want to show the Na’vi in a different light because, so far, I have only shown their good sides. In the early films, there are very negative human examples and very positive Na’vi examples. In Avatar 3, we will do the opposite."
The innovative filmmaker emphasized that Avatar and Way of Water were foundational works. An introduction to the world and its characters before the next few installments raises the stakes and expands the universe more than ever.
It also seems that exploring a new side to the Na’vi will not be the only change.
So far, all the films have focussed solely on the lush planet of Pandora, but Cameron teased another change that Avatar 3 is set to bring. The film will explore “new worlds, while continuing the story of the main characters,” but it depends on whether Way of Water “finds its audience.”
"We will also explore new worlds, while continuing the story of the main characters. I can say that the last parts will be the best. The others were an introduction, a way to set the table before serving the meal. But, obviously, everything will depend on how Avatar 2 is received, if it finds its audience."
What Else Will Avatar 3 Be About?
There is undoubtedly a trend for the franchise. The first film whisked audiences away to the forest, and its massively expensive sequel took viewers to the ocean, introducing a new Na'vi tribe each time.
Now, it seems that the third will continue this tradition and introduce the “Ash People,” a fiery tribe who will reveal a new side to Pandora’s inhabitants.
Some have speculated that the “Ash People” will be used to show the Na’vi in a less favorable light, which could mean they are more aggressive. However, Cameron did not outright say this; this new side to the Na’vi could mean various things.
They may be less welcoming to outsiders, especially as Avatar and Way of Water share themes of finding a new belonging in a previously unfamiliar space.
As Spider (Jack Champion) also seems to find belonging with the Sully family after growing up with the Na’vi despite being a human, it could be that Jake and his family face further complications when encountering the tribe after adopting their new son and the threat of the humans still looming large.
Regardless, it seems that Avatar 3 will broaden the horizons and explore entirely new worlds instead of only focusing on a single Pandora tribe.
This will be a welcome break from tradition and help avoid the franchise from becoming too predictable or stale.
The long-awaited sequel to 2009’s Avatar has become a record-smasher; the film has undoubtedly found its audience, and fans can expect to return to Pandora on December 20, 2024.