Avatar's Na'vi

The Avatar franchise is bursting with potential at the moment, and it truly can go in any direction it chooses. There has only been one movie, but writer-director James Cameron clearly has a massive vision for the world of Pandora, planning four sequels (!!) that will extend the journey through the year 2028, when Avatar 5 is expected to open on December 22. Between now and then, we could see any number of actors coming into and out of the franchise, and from what Vin Diesel is hinting, he expects to be one of those cast members.

Vin Diesel has been making the rounds lately to support F9, the latest chapter in the Fast & Furious series. And when asked by MTV’s Josh Horowitz whether the rumors of his involvement in the Avatar franchise are true, Diesel had this cryptic response at the ready:

I have spent time with him, but I have not filmed yet. I love James Cameron and I love the series. I think it’s safe to say that we will be working together.

“Yet” seems to be the key word in that statement, meaning that Vin Diesel plans to make his way to the set of an Avatar film at some point. Let’s hope that James Cameron knows to expect him!

There’s at least a loose thread of connection between Vin Diesel and an existing member of the Avatar family… and I use that word “Family” on purpose. Fellow Fast racer and longtime collaborator Michelle Rodriguez played combat pilot Trudy Chacon in the 2009 film Avatar, and very easily could have put the good work in regarding Vin Diesel as a franchise piece. Rodriguez also worked with Cameron (as a producer) on Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel, so she’s a member of that crew. It’s unlikely Trudy returns for the Avatar sequels. Maybe she is passing her baton to whomever it is Vin Diesel might play?

The first Avatar established a conflict between a greedy corporation (with its military muscle) and the Na’vi -- native inhabitants of the planet Pandora. At the moment, we have no idea what plot might drive the sequels forward, but if military were still trying to tap into the valuable natural resources of Pandora (we could all use unobtanium in our lives), then Vin Diesel would make sense as a gruff military leader going up against Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and the defiant Na’vi of Pandora. Oh hey, there’s another link. Diesel and Saldana are Guardians of the Galaxy together, even if Diesel only lends his voice to Groot.

So, here’s what we know about the immediate future of Avatar. We are still more than a year away from Avatar 2 landing in theaters on Dec. 16, 2022. Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang return, and they are joined by Titanic’s Kate Winslet. More Cameron connections! Once we know for sure that Vin Diesel officially has joined the franchise, we’ll be the first to report it.

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