When James Cameron finally released Avatar back in 2009, it was something that was worth the wait. It was his first major film after Titanic, and it showed how much the filmmaker really wanted to take his time to make certain he had the technology to tell such a massive story. Avatar showed that a big budget film can make back even more of its budget ten times over, and it brought back 3D into theaters. Naturally, in a world full of sequels, it feels like Avatar is more than overdue. There has been talk from James Cameron that not only will there be a trilogy, there will actually be five films in this series. This is what is known about Avatar 2, Avatar 3, Avatar 4, and Avatar 5 release dates.
Where Avatar Left Off, and The Need for a Sequel
The universe established in the first film was one where the Earth was essentially polluted and dystopian, but space travel allowed spreading out to other worlds, a typical science fiction setup. So naturally, humans started to colonize other worlds and steal natural resources, ignoring the native populations of these new planets. It is a story that we as Americans are well aware of, and the planet of Pandora and its Na'vi people were just beautifully done on screen.
The first film showed Jake Sully assume the form of a Na'vi, thanks to some mind-transferring technology. Jake was supposed to reason with the Na'vi so his bosses could dig for unobtainium underneath the giant tree that is the Na'vi home, but he realized that humans can be really dumb and rebelled against them. Eventually, he succeeded in his endeavors, and Earth presumably left Pandora.
Most people who saw the film saw the potential for a sequel, as there is no way that these corporate guys from Earth are just going to stay away from Pandora. Not only that, they are just going to just find other words to suck out the resources from. It felt like the universe could be explored, and be as huge as Star Trek or Star Wars, with the main storyline of Jake freeing other planets from Earth.
It's more than enough story to do four more films with. However, there hasn't really been much information about what is going to happen in any of them. According to iO9, James Cameron had a conversation with Variety about what the Avatar films will be about.
So What Will the Next Avatar Films Be About, According to James Cameron
In a word, it is about "family". The storyline is going to follow Jake and Neytiri and their children, and more of a family saga about the struggle with humans.
This means that Avatar is about to become one of those generational saga series. It is possible that we will see Jake and Neytiri grow old, and who knows what their children will be like.
Variety has stated that the clues for the Avatar sequels can be found in Toruk, the Cirque du Soleil Avatar prequel that happens at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The plot of the stage show is about the giant dragon-like creatures seen in the film, but probably only has a foundation for any of the Avatar sequels. Toruk takes place before the humans or "Sky-people" arrive on Pandora, but it is a good exercise on building the world and the culture of the Na'vi.
Potential Things that Can Happen in Avatar Sequels
Generally, when kids are introduced in films, it is kind of a death sentence. Usually, the kid in films is written to be childish, but they can often come across as characters who just get in trouble all the time and need saving. Then there is erring in the other direction, where the child character does things that are too brave and too grown-up, as if he is some child of promise like the kid from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
So it is possible that Jake and Neyteri could have essentially "retired" after their adventures in the first movie. Considering that the two of them united all the tribes of the world, they might have their hands full trying to establish what most would call civilization. Perhaps they will have established trade, and maybe worked on developing technology.
It would be pretty easy to develop a plot from that. Maybe one of the human characters from the first film comes to Jake and says that something bad is going on with the humans on another world. Maybe this character comes in a starship that can actually take Jake and some of his Navi friends with him to fight for this other world.
That seems like an obvious direction to go, and it would be a great storyline for Avatar 2. Maybe after Jake liberates another world from the earthlings, Jake will be motivated to start some new alien alliance that is dedicated to fighting against the bad human influence in the universe.
From there, there is a lot of potential as far as what kind of aliens they encounter, but also the psychological impact of how this would affect Jake. If he started some movement like that, how long would it take before it comes to Earth, and all the aliens want all humans eradicated?
That would be a twist on the alien invasion plotline, as the aliens that are invading are the good guys.
Avatar Sequels Release Dates
There is a definite plan to release the Avatar sequels, but there isn't really specified release dates. James Cameron doesn't seem to mind if they are released late, and it looks like he intends to make all of them at once, and give them to movie-goers as holiday gifts.
Avatar 2 will arrive in theaters on Christmas 2018. Avatar 3 will occur on Christmas 2020. Avatar 4 will be on Christmas 2022. The final chapter of Avatar 5 will be Christmas 2023. Hopefully, all of these films will be good, as just one bad film could ruin this series overall.