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'Avatar 4' will move the action from Pandora to Earth, reveals producer Jon Landau

Sounds super cool, but we'll have to wait until December 2026 to see it.

By Josh Weiss
Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

After three adventures on Pandora, James Cameron's Avatar franchise will go where it's never gone before: Earth. Speaking with Empire for the magazine's March 2023 issue (now on sale), franchise producer Jon Landau revealed that Avatar 4 is moving the action from the lush jungle moon of Pandora to the dying planet of the Sky People, who use the brain fluid of alien-whales to make themselves immortal.

"There's over-population and a depletion of our natural resources that make life harder," Landau teased. "But we don't want to paint a bleak picture for where our world is going. The films are also about the idea of that we can change course."

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. There's still plenty of action to go on Pandora before we reach the little blue marble we call home. Principal photography on Avatar 3 is completely finished, with the blockbuster slated for a wide release on Dec. 20, 2024.

RELATED: Sounds like James Cameron will get to see his 'Avatar' pentology through to the end after all

This third chapter in a planned 5-movie saga will introduce audiences to the fire-based "Ash People" led by Varang (played by Game of Thrones Oona Chaplin). Unlike the Metkayina clan, however, these volcano-dwelling Na'avi aren't the most welcoming. Indeed, Empire reports that it'll be the humans who are depicted as the protagonists rather than the natives in the forthcoming installment.

"There are good humans, and there are bad humans — the same thing on the Na'avi side — but oftentimes, people don't see themselves as bad," Landau continued. "What is the root cause of how they evolve into what we perceive as bad? Maybe there are other factors there that we're not aware of."

A Tulkun in 20th Century Studios' AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (2022)

The producer also revealed that a number of fan favorite characters — like the Tulkun-hunting (and now one-armed) Mick Scoresby (Brendan Cowell) and Payakan are coming back for more less-than-smooth sailing on the high seas. Uh-oh, something tells us a Moby Dick-style feud is a-brewing between the two. Here's an idea: change Scoresby's name to "Ahab" and give him a harpoon arm.

"We view Payakan as a character, not just as a creature," Landau said of the highly-intelligent whale-like alien that was wrongfully shunned by its own kind. "We will continue to explore his relationship with Lo'ak [played by Britain Dalton]."

Avatar: The Way of Water is now playing in theaters everywhere. As of this week, it is the sixth-highest grossing movie in history. Avatars 4 and 5 are currently scheduled to drop on Dec. 18, 2026 and Dec. 22, 2028, respectively.

Looking for more blockbusters that will make your spirit soar? NOPE, Beast, and Minions: The Rise of Gru are all streaming on Peacock alongside plenty of other classics.