Producer Jon Landau talks Avatar 5 and bringing the Na'vi to Earth

Avatar: The Way of Water is nearly upon us. The movie, written and directed by James Cameron, is released at Cineworld on December 16 and will be followed by at least three sequels, due out in 2024, 2026 and 2028.

The last of those, Avatar 5, is something of a hypothetical concept at the moment. None of it has been shot, as opposed to Avatar 3, which has completed principal photography, and Avatar 4 where production work has just started. However, that hasn't stopped producer, and longtime Cameron collaborator, Jon Landau from outlining what's in store for the fifth chapter.

"In movie five there is a section of the story where we go to Earth," Landau told Gizmodo. "And we go to it to open people’s eyes, open [Zoe Saldana's character] Neytiri’s eyes, to what exists on Earth.”

That's an intriguing prospect, given that Earth has only been passingly invoked in the Avatar franchise thus far. At the beginning of the first movie, which is set in the year 2154, humanity has sought to colonise other planets and moons owing to the depletion of Earth's natural resources. One of these places is the moon Pandora where the story picks up with colonial marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington).

Earth is mentioned at the outset of Avatar: The Way of Water (no spoilers) but again, we don't actually get to see it. We imagine that James Cameron's famously visual imagination will run riot while he's depicting the ravaged state of our home planet, assuming he directs Avatar 5, of course. (Cameron has hinted that he may pass the responsibility for films four and five to somebody else.)

Landau elaborated: "Earth is not just represented by the [greedy colonial administration] RDA. Just like you’re defined by the choices you make in life, not all humans are bad. Not all Na’vi are good. And that’s the case here on Earth. And we want to expose Neytiri to that.”

Beyond Avatar 5? Cameron has already been speaking about Avatar 6 and Avatar 7. He said: “Obviously, I’m not going to be able to make Avatar movies indefinitely, the amount of energy required. I would have to train somebody how to do this because, I don’t care how smart you are as a director, you don’t know how to do this.” 

Still, first things first. We've got the latest Avatar movie to soak up before we even think about returning to Earth. Click here to book your tickets for Avatar: The Way of Water, releasing December 16, and don't forget to check out our special Olympic swimmer-themed Avatar video.