Months Ahead Of Avatar: The Way Of Water's Release, Producer Reveals A Key Part Of Avatar 4 Has Already Been Shot

Jake Sully peering through plants in Avatar: The Way of Water
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Over a decade ended up passing between Avatar and the release of Avatar: The Way of Water, but assuming there aren’t any major shakeups in the schedule of upcoming movies, we won’t have to wait nearly as long for the next three sequels. Starting with The Way of Water hitting theaters in December, there will be a new Avatar movie released every other December up to 2028, meaning that Avatar 4 isn’t coming out until the end of 2026. And yet, producer Jon Landau has revealed that a key part of Avatar 4 has already been shot.

With a little over two months to go until James Cameron finally delivers Avatar 2 after all this time, Jon Landau spoke at the Busan International Film Festival after showcasing 15 of footage from the sequel. Along with talking up the dazzling technology on display in The Way of Water, Landu informed Variety that most of Avatar 4’s opening act has is finished, saying:

We’ve completed most of the first act of Avatar 4 and there were logistical reasons why we needed to do that. We’ve designed most of the whole movie for Avatar 4 but we haven’t actually filmed all of it – just the first act.

The public still has under half a decade to go Avatar 4 is in front of their eyeballs, but for reasons that Jon Landau didn’t elaborate upon, it was necessary for its first act to be shot now rather than later on in the production. Hopefully once the movie is out, Jon Landau will explain why this needed to be handled years ahead of time, but at least this is a good sign for Avatar fans that Avatar 4 will actually happen, as opposed to being one of those sequels that’s announced far in advance, but never moves forward. I’m looking at you, The Amazing Spider-Man 3.

Since much of Avatar: The Way of Water is shrouded in mystery, needless to say that it will be a long time until any specifics about Avatar 4. That being said, Jon Landau did mention that with each new Avatar movie, a new Pandoran culture will be spotlighted alongside the ones introduced in the prior entries. As he put it:

With each sequel, we’re going to introduce audiences to new cultures and new biomes. We don’t leave behind the cultures that we’ve met.

Among the actors who have been confirmed to appear in Avatar 4 are Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, Matt Gerald, Dileep Rao and David Thewlis. Once we see Avatar 4’s first act unfold towards the end of 2026, then we’ll know who participated in this shoot so far ahead of time. If you’re looking to return to Pandora ahead of Avatar: The Way of Water’s release, the original James Cameron-helmed movie has wisely been re-released in theaters, and it includes exclusive footage of the next sequel that shows off James Cameron’s dazzling underwater technology.

Avatar: The Way of Water comes out on December 16, and like its predecessor was for a long time (and surely will be again soon), it’ll eventually become available to stream with a Disney+ subscription. CinemaBlend will continue passing along updates on the progress of the three other Avatar sequels in the years ahead.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.