Even in the build-up to the release of Avatar: The Way of Water, producer Jon Landau was dropping teases and tidbits about the future of the franchise in the event further sequels were made. Of course, the green light on those theoretical sequels was lit long ago, with the film almost inevitably smashing through the break-even point and into the top five, then top four, and most likely top three films of all time.
Now that the future of the franchise is assured, Landau has been dropping more details about what fans can expect going forward, with some new information provided when it comes to the antagonists that Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña will be battling in the next flight of passage to Pandora.
Landau revealed there was an obvious need to bring the battle closer to home as well as Jake Sully and Neytiri continuing to ward off the threat of greedy humans – and Col. Miles Quaritch is still on the board too, of course. Speaking with Empire Magazine about the sequel, the producer disclosed that ‘the sky people’ would be seen in a more positive light than just blank canvas villains.
“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.”
Oona Chaplin Will Play the Villain of Avatar 3
And that means, for the first time, we will see Na’vi facing off against Na’vi, with Game of Thrones‘ Oona Chaplin now confirmed to be playing Varang, described as the leader of the Ash People, “an aggressive, volcanic race” of Na’vi.
Chaplin is best known for her role in Game of Thrones where she played Talisa Maegyr, a healer from Volantis who follows Robb Stark (Richard Madden) and his army in the series, before following in love with the King in the North, eventually marrying him – before meeting a tragic end. When she was cast four years ago, she described the franchise as “trojan-horse cinema”, old-fashioned filmmaking and storytelling disguised as blockbuster cinema.
Not that The Way of Water will be the last we see of the oceans of Pandora, particularly the heartbreaking character of Payakan, the tulkun – or giant, talking Pandoran whale with post-traumatic stress disorder – and his relationship with Lo’ak (Britain Walton), the son of Jake and Neytiri. “We view Payakan as a character, not just a creature, and we will continue to explore his relationship with Lo’ak”.
Avatar 3 is set for release in December 2024.