As “Avatar: The Way of Water” continues to dominate the worldwide box office (it’s currently the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time with $2.13 billion), the future of James Cameron’s Na’vi franchise is coming into clearer focus. Cameron has already shot “Avatar 3” and parts of “Avatar 4,” and “The Way of Water” has performed strong enough that “Avatar 5” is likely to move forward as well.
In a new interview with Empire magazine, “Avatar” producer Jon Landau dropped some new details about what fans can expect from the next three sequels. Cameron had teased that “Avatar 3” would introduce a more antagonistic race of Na’vi. Landau said that group is the Ash People, described by Empire 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.”
While Chaplin’s casting has been known for quite some time, this is the first confirmation fans have gotten that she’s playing the leader of the Ash People. Chaplin praised the “Avatar” franchise back in 2018 and described it as “Trojan horse cinema” due to how Cameron uses big budget filmmaking “to explore things that he finds important…like our relationship with nature, our relationship with people, our relationship with ourselves and the spirit.”
Landau’s Empire magazine interview also 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 Gizmodo, saying, “We go to it to open people’s eyes, open Neytiri’s eyes, to what exists on Earth.”
What exactly will Earth look like in the “Avatar” world? Fans know that Earth is dying, which is why the Resources Development Administration (RDA) has come to Pandora in order to create a new sustainable planet for humans. Landau told Empire “there’s over-population and a depletion of our natural resources that make life harder” in “Avatar’s” version of Earth.
“But we don’t want to paint a bleak picture for where our world is going,” the producer added. “The films are also about the idea that we can change course.”
“Avatar: The Way of Water” is now playing in theaters nationwide.