James Cameron Says ‘I’ve Got Ideas’ for ‘Avatar 6’ and ‘Avatar 7’ but ‘Probably’ Won’t Direct Them; Zoe Saldaña Teases ‘Avatar 4’ and Beyond: ‘It Just Gets Crazy’

James Cameron confirmed to People magazine that he already has ideas locked in for “Avatar 6” and “Avatar 7,” which would expand his record-breaking franchise well beyond the planned 2031 theatrical release of “Avatar 5.” The Oscar winner is currently in post-production on “Avatar 3” and still has around half of “Avatar 4” left to shoot. Disney has the next three “Avatar” movies on its theatrical release calendar. The future of the franchise beyond “Avatar 5” is taking shape in Cameron’s head.

“We’re fully written through movie five, and I’ve got ideas for six and seven, although I’ll probably be handing the baton on at that point,” Cameron told People magazine. “Mortality catches up. But I mean, we’re enjoying what we’re doing. We’re loving it. We get to work with great people.”

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It’s clear the “Avatar” franchise will continue even if Cameron is not in the director’s chair. For fans unhappy that Cameron’s career is totally dominated by the “Avatar” franchise right now, here’s his response: “People are always asking us, ‘So why did you just keep working in the same…’ Why did [George] Lucas keep working in the same thing? Why did [Gene] Roddenberry keep working in the same thing? Because when you connect with people, why would you squander that? Why would you start over with something else that might not connect?”

Zoe Saldaña will be back in motion-capture as Neytiri in the next three “Avatar” sequels. All she can really say about them is that things are going to get crazy. The actor recently spoke to Collider about the future of the franchise.

“It’s going to be amazing. ‘Avatar 3,’ it’s going to be amazing, and ‘Avatar 4’ and ‘5’, it just gets crazy,” Saldaña teased. “It’s true. It really does. [James Cameron has] blown our mind. This is his legacy project. We all thought it was ‘Titanic’ and it turned out that ‘Avatar’ is his legacy. And for us to be a part of something so groundbreaking and trailblazing, it’s like it’s a legacy for us, too. So I’m excited to go back. We go back to work next week, so I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone.”

Cameron let it slip in an interview with People magazine last year that “Avatar 4” features a big time jump for the characters. He purposefully shot “Avatar 3” and chunks of “Avatar 4” concurrently with “The Way of Water” to ensure age continuity among his characters.

“We see them and then we go away for six years and we come back,” Cameron said about the “Avatar 4” time jump.

“Avatar 3” was originally going to arrive in 2024, but Disney delayed it to Dec. 19, 2025. “Avatar 4” is on track for Dec. 21, 2029, followed by “Avatar 5” on Dec. 19, 2031. Based on this timeline, the final “Avatar” movie will premiere 22 years after the original 2009 blockbuster.

“Great! I’m gonna be 53 when the last ‘Avatar’ comes out,” Saldaña humorously posted on her Instagram after the release date changes were announced last year. “I was 27 when I shot the very first ‘Avatar.’”

Franchise producer Jon Landau said in an Empire magazine interview last year that “Avatar 3” will introduce 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 at the time. “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 also let it slip to Gizmodo last year that “Avatar 5” will bring the franchise to Earth for the first time, saying, “We go to it to open people’s eyes, open Neytiri’s eyes, to what exists on Earth.”

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