While there’s still a long way to go before release, Zoe Saldaña has provided a conflicting update on the filming of Avatar 3. Saldaña stars in James Cameron’s acclaimed sci-fi action saga as Neytiri, a member of the Na’vi species who lives on the planet Pandora and falls in love with Sam Worthington’s human character Jake Sully, with whom she will eventually have a family after his ultimate transformation into a Na’vi body. Thanks to the success of the first film, Cameron has planned four sequels to Avatar, the last of which hit theaters a decade after its predecessor, while the others are planned until 2028.
During an Oscars 2023 appearance for the previous sequel, Zoe Saldaña offered some highly anticipated information about Avatar 3 to Entertainment Tonight. After expressing her excitement for what’s to come from the upcoming third installment, the star shared an update on filming, revealing that the film was only “at 70 percent,” in contrast to Cameron’s earlier comments. What Saldaña had to say is below: “Yeah, well, we’re going to finish it this summer. We’re 70 percent there. But we have time.”
Avatar 3 was originally announced as part of Cameron’s ambitious four-sequel plan and was scheduled to be released in 2015, but the stretched development cycle caused several delays. When production finally got underway on Avatar: The Way of Water last year, it was reported that Cameron was shooting the next chapter in New Zealand in parallel, mostly due to the underwater sequences involving fully CGI characters.
Interestingly, filming on Avatar 3 was reportedly wrapped in late 2020 after a full three-year production run, making Saldaña’s comments suggesting that more filming is needed surprising. Just a few months prior to this, Cameron had indicated that Avatar 3 was “95 percent completed,” confirming last December that the films had been run-in consecutively in order to avoid the Stranger Things effect of actors aging out of their roles. .
While Saldaña’s filming update appears to conflict with Cameron’s earlier statements, the director also hinted his hopes for a nine-hour long Avatar 3 montage to be handed out, which is rumored to be considering a release. on Disney+ shortly after its theatrical release. With the Academy Award winner aiming for such a massive scale for this third installment, it seems likely that his original 95 percent estimate has been reduced as he looks to get the actors back on set.