Avatar 2: The Way of the Water: how many sequels will there be, release dates, and is Avatar 5 the last movie?

Avatar: The Way of the Water will come to cinemas 13 years after the first film was released - but James Cameron has planned a further three sci-fi sequels

Avatar, directed by James Cameron was released in cinemas in 2009 and quickly supplanted another Cameron film, Titanic, as the highest grossing movie of all time. The sci-fi epic followed injured marine Jake Sully who was sent to the moon Pandora, using an avatar to move in the otherwise toxic environment. Sully’s mission is to resettle the population so that their land can be pillaged for precious minerals. However, after he falls in love with a native, he decides to fight alongside them to protect their sacred land.

The film starred Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver, all of whom will return in the sequel, and was hailed as a landmark moment in cinema history due its pioneering use of digital effects. However, producers were slow to capitalise on the film’s success.

Avatar: The Way of the Water

Marvel’s Iron Man was released the year before Avatar and since then a further 29 films and eight series have been released. By comparison Avatar is only just getting its first sequel, The Way of the Water, out the gate. But the same mistake won’t be repeated, as several more sequels are in the works, and fans won’t have to wait decades to see them.

How many Avatar films will there be?

Despite the fact that it took 13 years for the first sequel to come to cinemas, there are plans for several more Avatar movies. Four sequels, including The Way of the Water, are currently planned for the series, making five films in total.

At the current speed of release this would mean that the last Avatar movie would be released in December 2016, however the real schedule is far tighter than that. Avatar 3 was filmed simultaneously with The Way of the Water and is slated for release in December 2024.

Avatar 4 and 5, which are both in the early stages of production, are expected to be released in 2026 and 2028. However, production is only expected to continue on the films if The Way of the Water is commercially successful. James Cameron said in 2017: “If Avatar 2 and 3 don’t make enough money, there’s not going to be a 4 and 5.”

Avatar: The Way of the Water comes to cinemas on 16 December

Each Avatar sequel is expected to cost $250 million each, slightly above the $237 million spent on the first film, meaning that 20th Century Studios will be out half a billion having already filmed 2 and 3.

However, Avatar remains the highest grossing movie of all time (even if it did need a couple of re-releases to knock Avengers: Endgame off the top spot) having made $2.9 billion to date. Director James Cameron is likely hoping for similar success with the sequels, but even if each film only does half as well as the original, that would still leave room for almost $5 billion in profit over the four movies.

When is Avatar: The Way of the Water in cinemas?

Avatar: Way of the Water will be released in the UK cinemas on Friday 16 December, 13 years and a day after the first film was released. Despite the fact that original movie is known for being a long film, the sequel has managed to top it, with a run time of 3hrs 12mins.

Is Avatar: The Way of the Water on Disney+?

The Way of the Water is a 20th Century Studios production, meaning that it is also a Disney property. Therefore, the sequel is likely to be released on Disney+ sometime after its cinematic run has ended. An official Disney+ release date has not yet been confirmed.

However, Amsterdam, a 20th Century Studios film that was released in cinemas on 7 October landed on Disney+ two months later. Therefore it is likely that Avatar: The Way of the Water will arrive on Disney+ around 16 February 2023.