Though still plenty of time until its release, Zoe Saldaña has a conflicting Avatar 3 filming update. Saldaña stars in James Cameron's celebrated sci-fi action franchise as Neytiri, a member of the Na'vi species living on the planet Pandora who falls in love with Sam Worthington's human Jake Sully and eventually builds a family with him after his permanent transferal into a Na'vi body. Thanks to the original's success, Cameron has plans for four Avatar sequels, the most recent of which hit theaters a decade after its predecessor while the others are scheduled through 2028.
While appearing at the 2023 Oscars for the previous sequel, Zoe Saldaña offered some insight on the highly anticipated Avatar 3 to Entertainment Tonight. After expressing her excitement for what's to come from the upcoming threequel, the star shared a filming update, revealing that the movie was only "70 percent done," conflicting with Cameron's previous comments. See what Saldaña shared below:
Yeah, I mean, we’re gonna go back this summer and finish it up. We’re 70% done there. But, we have time.
Related: Avatar 3: Release Date, Cast & Everything We Know
Avatar 3 was originally announced as part of Cameron's ambitious four-sequel plan and was previously slated for a 2015 release, only for the elongated development cycle to delay it multiple times. By the time production finally got underway on last year's Avatar: The Way of Water, it was reported that Cameron was shooting the upcoming threequel simultaneously in New Zealand, primarily due to the underwater-set sequences involving the completely CGI characters.
Interestingly, filming was reported to have wrapped on Avatar 3 back in late December 2020 after a full three years of production, making Saldaña's comments surprising that further production is needed. Just a few months prior to that, Cameron had indicated that Avatar 3 was "95 percent complete", while confirming this past December that the films were shot back-to-back in the hopes of avoiding the Stranger Things effect of actors aging out of their roles.
While Saldaña's filming update may seem to conflict with Cameron's previous discussions, the director has also teased his hopes for a nine-hour cut of Avatar 3 to be released, which is rumored to be eyeing a Disney+ release shortly after its theatrical debut. With the Oscar winner eyeing such a massive scale for the threequel, it does seem likely his original 95 percent figure may have gone backwards as he looks to bring his actors back to shoot more.
More: Avatar 3 Is Set Up To Be What We Wanted From Way Of WaterSource: ET