A new Avatar 3 update from lead star Zoe Saldana may have indicated that the threequel is not far along as fans thought.
Avatar: The Way of Water's successful theatrical run reignited the interest of fans toward the James Cameron-led franchise, thus boosting the anticipation for Avatar 3.
The Titanic director also pointed out that Avatar 2's success led to an encouraging sign for future sequels of the franchise, with Cameron confirming that Avatar 3 is "already in the can" and they are currently in "extended post-production."
Zoe Saldana Provides Avatar 3 Update
Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, via @PandoranVault, Avatar lead star Zoe Saldana talked about the status of Avatar 3 and how excited the cast and crew are about Oscar-winner Michelle Yeoh joining the franchise.
Saldana confirmed that they are "70%" done with Avatar 3, noting that they are going back "this summer and finish it up:"
“Yeah, I mean, we’re gonna go back this summer and finish it up. We’re 70% done there. But, we have time."
The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 actress also shared James Cameron's excitement toward Yeoh's involvement with the threequel while also praising the visionary filmmaker:
"How stoked are we? We’re pinching ourselves. But nobody more than James Cameron, okay? Jimbo is pinching himself, going, ‘I told you, man. I bet on the right people.’ And we bet on him over and over again. And I’m proud of him. I’m proud of the entire team. I feel so lucky to be a part of something that gets to really change lives and cinema’s history. I just love it.”
In a past interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cameron already confirmed that Avatar 3 is "all shot," indicating that this new update from Saldana means that the cast and crew are returning for post-production and VFX purposes:
“We’ll probably finish movie three regardless because it’s all shot.”
Avatar 3 producer Jon Landau told Collider last December that "95%" of the movie has been filmed, saying that they need to still "pick up" filming for some scenes:
“We shot 95% of movie 3. We have a little bit that we have to still pick up.”
When Is Avatar 3 Actually Coming Out?
Whether it is filming or post-production work, the conflicting statements from Cameron, Landau, and Saldana suggest that work for Avatar 3 is far from over.
Given that Avatar 3 is slated to premiere in December 2024, a potential delay might be imminent due to the amount of work needed for post-production and polishing visual effects.
Still, it's possible that the schedules may line up and the cast and crew returning (as what Saldana pointed out) this summer is part of the plan from Disney.
Meanwhile, the exact plot details of Avatar 3 are still being kept under wraps, but Disney has slowly teased what to expect, such as confirming returning villains and the arrival of a new tribe in the form of the Ash People or the fire Na'vi.
Cameron has been at the forefront of building hype for Avatar 3, with the award-winning director sharing notable details about the threequel such as its new narrator and different settings on Pandora.
Avatar 3 is currently slated to premiere in theaters on December 20, 2024.