One production designer may have spoiled the final battle setting for 2025's Avatar 3.
While moving the conflict between the Sully clan (led by Sam Worthington's Jake Sully) and the RDA (Resources Development Administration), the movie will also feature the first inter-Na'vi clash with the introduction of the volcano-dwelling "Ash people."
Not much else is known about Cameron's sci-fi threequel, but hints at what could come next have slowly been trickling out as production on the project is ongoing.
Hinting at Avatar 3's Final Battle
Audiences may have their first hint at where Avatar 3's final battle will take place thanks to production designer David Vickery.
Speaking in an interview with befores & afters, Vickery teased a "massive thing" set to happen at the RDA home base of Bridgehead in the Avatar threequel:
"There were bits of set dressing in the deeper background of a shot and Ben Procter would say, ‘Oh, that’s really important for 'Avatar 3.' We need to make sure we get that right because there’s a massive thing going on over there in 'Avatar 3.'’"
Bridgehead was first introduced in Avatar: The Way of Water, being the location in which Stephen Lang's General Miles Quaritch gets the order to kill Jake Sully from General Ardmore.
Vickery described some of the work that went into building Bridgehead for Avatar 2 and the "hundreds of" vehicles and RDA elements they designed for what was "only six or seven shots:"
"It’s only six or seven shots but the assets for that sequence were insane, (in a good way) Our CG Supervisor, Steve Ellis did an amazing job bringing those scenes to life. There were 15 different types of ground transport vehicles of which there are hundreds of them on the floor, sparks, dust, bulldozers, cranes and diggers, humans driving ampsuits, construction workers, flying craft like the Sea-Wasps, Dragons and blimps, hundreds of welder assembly bots swarming over the buildings all moving and spot welding and arcing. It was all about how we could add detail to breathe life into this huge space."
He said all this work went into the location because of the importance it is going to have in Avatar 3, chronicling some of the environmental storytelling that went into building this RDA home base:
"There’s huge diggers that are churning up sandy coloured dust. There’s factories in the background pumping out air conditioning steam and smoke and burning fossil fuels. There’s desert winds lifting sand and blowing that through. We’d talk about, ‘How can we build up and diffuse the environment to get the right color of light contamination and shadow pollution through to make it feel like a real thing?’"
Vickery lamented bringing the first asset for that sequence to texture lead Mark Young, it being the Valkyrie "they travel in as they’re going over to Bridgehead:"
"Interestingly, our texture lead Mark Young worked on the Valkyrie texturing at Wētā on the first 'Avatar.' The first asset we gave him was the ship that is actually only a slight modification to that Valkyrie asset that they travel in as they’re going over to Bridgehead. He’s like, ‘Hey, I did this on Avatar and now I’m doing it again….’. But he did such a great job."
Why Bridgehead Makes Sense to Close Avatar 3
It is probably a good bet that the important Avatar 3 Bridgehead sequence David Vickery described will be the final battle of the movie.
Despite one of the big bads of the threequel being teased as a "new villain... from Pandora," likely in reference to the red-skinned Ash people that have been brought up before, the franchise will ultimately always come back to the idea of humans (the RDA) sullying the natural wonder that is Pandora.
So an epic battle sequence to close the film - potentially being the killing blow to the military-industrial machine that is the RDA - at Bridgehead would make a lot of sense.
Thus far in the Avatar franchise, each film's final conflict has taken place on the Na'vi's turf. Yes, The Way of Water's third act was on board an RDA ship, but it was at sea with the natural world all around it.
Attacking Bridgehead would be something different for the series, with the Na'vi invading an Earth-like locale before they ever make it to Earth (which at some point they seemingly will).
James Cameron himself hinted that every Avatar movie would have the "same adversary" with "additional adversaries and additional allies" popping in and out for each adventure. But if this is the case, then Bridgehead feels like the perfect spot to end the upcoming third movie.
Avatar 3 comes to theaters on December 19, 2025.