How Avatar: The Way of Water Sets Up Avatar 3

Long before the release of Avatar: The Way of Water, fans of James Cameron‘s movie franchise were already aware that more was coming. Production on the second film was intertwined with filming on the third Avatar movie, which is already scheduled to be released in two years time. As one might expect with the two movies so well connected in the production side of things, the two appear to be intimately connected in terms of plot, especially since Avatar: The Way of Water ends in a way that perfectly tees up what will happen in the eventual third Avatar movie. Spoilers for Avatar: The Way of Water follow!

The biggest thing that Avatar: The Way of Water does to set up the next movie in the series is with Jake and Neytiri being told by Ronal (Kate Winslet) and Tonowari (Cliff Curtis), that they’re welcome to stay with the water-dwelling Metkayina clan for the foreseeable future. This comes after the huge climactic battle, when Colonel Miles Quaritch and his team have finally located Jake and his family, with the Sullys believing they need to leave and find yet another new home on Pandora. As a result we can pretty firmly speculate that Winslet and Curtis’ characters, along with Bailey Bass’ Tsireya, will continue to be big parts of Avatar 3.

On that note, another big thread left hanging that will lead into Avatar is the fact that the Recombinant/Avatar version of Colonel Miles Quaritch is still alive. Rescued by his son Spider, the revived Marine is still eager to take down Jake Sully but with Edie Falco’s General Frances Ardmore serving as his boss, and moving forward with plans to colonize Pandora with the population of Earth, his mission could very well change, especially since he failed to kill Sully and his family in Avatar: The Way of Water.

Falco’s character and the plan for Pandora colonization will also no doubt be a big part of Avatar 3, but combined with that is the subplot about the hunting of the tulkuns (Pandora’s whales) to harvest their brain juice. As told to us by Brendan Cowell’s Captain Mick Scoresby, the brains of tulkuns contain a property called Amrita which back on Earth stops human aging entirelly. As a result, Unobtanium is old news and Amrita is the new hit thing.

Finally, there’s also another huge plot thread left hanging before Avatar 3, the secrecy about the birth of Kiri, Sigourney Weaver’s new character. As the film reveals, Kiri was born from Dr. Grace Augustine’s Avatar from the first movie, having died in the original film. It’s still unclear how Kiri was born, but it seems clear that this is a riff on the Immaculate Conception, with Kiri also displaying unique properties and powers that no other Na’Vi has. She even shares a moment with Weaver’s original human character after she becomes connected to the spirit tree, asking who her father is but receiving no answer. With one of the previously leaked titles for an Avatar sequel being “Avatar: The Quest for Eywa,” it seems likely that Kiri has been sent to guide the Na’Vi from their deity, Eywa.


Avatar 3 is currently scheduled for release on December 20, 2024.

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