Avatar 3's New Villain Teased by James Cameron

By Alycia Leach Updated:
Avatar 3 villain

Director James Cameron teased that a new villain for the Avatar franchise is on the horizon.

Avatar: The Way of Water was a visual delight for theatre-goers, and many praised the successor's more substantial and more emotionally charged storyline. 

James Cameron, the visionary director behind Avatar, offered details about what fans can expect from future installments, such as a different side of the Na'vi.

In many ways, Way of Water only laid the groundwork for what was to come by reintroducing audiences across the globe to the world of Pandora. The future is undoubtedly bright for Cameron's passion project.

New Villain Debuting in Future Avatar Sequel

Avatar, Na'vi

Last month, The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, held an exclusive Q&A screening of Avatar: The Way of Water

To the delight of fans, Avatar director James Cameron and producer Jon Landau appeared and invited questions from fans in the audience, in which Cameron was asked if there would be any "other villains than the military-industrial complex."

Cameron clarified whether the asker found the "faceless, military machine" enemy to be "not as interesting" as a villain with a more personal vendetta:

“You think that, I’m not going to try to put words in your mouth here, but the generalized enemy of like this faceless, military machine is not as interesting as like a personal thing?”

Fortunately, the viewer found the villain in Way of Water to be perfect but would love to see more villains in the mix for future Avatar installments.

Cameron responded by saying that this particular fan would be "so happy" with the franchise's direction, teasing that an intra-world "new villain... from Pandora" will be part of the story soon.

“Like a new villain... Intra-world. Like someone from Pandora. You are going to be so happy.”

Cameron's response aligns with the other teasers that the director already shared. 

It's no secret now that audiences will be able to see a new side of Pandora and its indigenous population, the Na'vi, with Avatar 3 looking to reinvent the franchise once more by introducing audiences to a fiery and volcanic biome.

More interestingly, Cameron shared that he hopes to "do the opposite" of what he has done in the first two Avatar releases and show "the Na'vi in a different light" as, right now, he has "only shown their good sides:"

“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.”

However, just because new faces are joining the antagonist line-up doesn't mean that the familiar faces of the RDA will be going anywhere anytime soon.

Cameron emphasized that Avatar is "not like a superhero story where there's a new villain with every film." Instead, the "same adversary" will stick around "through the whole thing."

Of course, fans will know he's referencing Miles Quatrich, who has been the principal antagonist since the series debuted in 2009. 

However, Quatrich is going through a lot of evolution and "additional adversaries and additional allies" for the growing cast of characters.

“It’s not like a superhero story where there’s a new villain with every film. Same guy, right? Same adversary through the whole thing. But how he evolves is also very interesting once we bring in additional adversaries as we go along. Additional adversaries and additional allies.”

What’s Ahead for Avatar 3?

The third Avatar film is looking to venture into bold new territory, and there are plenty of clues as to what fans can expect going forward.

James Cameron already shared the importance of fleshing out the Avatar universe when working toward a cohesive saga and that the director tries to approach Pandora with a "National Geographic lens of reality."

This includes knowing how different groups of Na'vi would adapt to the different biomes found on Pandora.

Given the director's previous comments, it's likely that the intra-world villain may be found among the "ash people" or that the whole tribe could function as an antagonizing group.

As fans will know, the visionary director already said that this fire tribe will be a significant part of Avatar 3 and is led by actress Oona Chaplin - who is slated to appear as a new villain, Varang, and antagonize Jake Sully and the Omiticaya people.

Cameron also pointed to a great deal of growth for mainstay villain Miles Quatrich, and it seems his estranged son, Spider, will play an essential role in bringing Quatrich and Sully together:

"In my mind Spider is who connects the two dads together [Jake and Quaritch]... because after a while simple revenge gets boring."

Avatar 3 will release in theaters on December 20, 2024.

- In This Article: Avatar 3
Release Date
December 19, 2025
Sam Worthington
Sigourney Weaver
- About The Author: Alycia Leach
Alycia Leach is a writer at The Direct. She joined The Direct in November 2020 and prides herself on her extensive knowledge of Luke Skywalker.