When James Cameron’s fifth “” movie opens in theaters in 2031, Zoe Saldaña will end a whopping 26-year journey playing the Na’vi warrior and devoted mother Neytiri. How’s that for character longevity? Disney that Cameron’s three upcoming “Avatar” sequels have been pushed back on the release calendar yet again, extending the franchise into 2031.
“Great! I’m gonna be 53 when the last ‘Avatar’ comes out,” Saldaña humorously posted on her Instagram alongside a shocked face emoji. “I was 27 when I shot the very first ‘Avatar.’”
Saldaña’s co-star Sam Worthington, who stars as Jake Sully in the franchise, will be 55 years old when the final “Avatar” movie hits theaters. Cameron will be 77 years old.
The second “Avatar” movie, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” opened in theaters last December, 13 years after the original movie broke box office records to become the highest-grossing movie of all time with $2.9 billion (unadjusted for inflation). While some doubted “The Way of Water” would be a hit, Cameron silenced the naysayers as the sequel generated $2.3 billion in worldwide ticket sales to become the third highest-grosser in movie history.
Disney had originally planned to release Cameron’s additional “Avatar” sequels two years apart from one another, with the third movie arriving in 2024. But now “Avatar 3” has shifted to Dec. 19, 2025; “Avatar 4” to Dec. 21, 2029; and “Avatar 5” to Dec. 19, 2031. Based on this timeline, the final “Avatar” movie is coming 22 years after the original 2009 blockbuster.
Cameron has teased that “Avatar 3” will introduce a more antagonistic race of Na’vi. Franchise producer Jon Landau toldearlier this year that the group is the Ash People, described by the publication as “an aggressive, volcanic race” of Na’vi whose leader is Varang, played by “Game of Thrones” alum and Charlie Chaplin’s granddaughter Oona Chaplin.
“There are good humans and there are bad humans,” Landau said. “It’s the same thing on the Na’vi side. Oftentimes, people don’t see themselves as bad. What is the root cause of how they evolve into what we perceive as bad? Maybe there are other factors there that we aren’t aware of.”
Landau’salso revealed that there will be “a big time jump” for “Avatar 4,” which will then lead into “Avatar 5” and its partial setting on Earth. The producer previously confirmed “Avatar 5” would visit Earth in an interview with , saying, “We go to it to open people’s eyes, open Neytiri’s eyes, to what exists on Earth.”
As fans wait for “Avatar 3” in 2025, they can stream “Avatar” and “Avatar: The Way of Water” on Disney+.