Sam Worthington says 'big' Avatar production to resume next month

Avatar star Sam Worthington says the next installment of director James Cameron's sci-fi fantasy franchise is "bigger than you can imagine".

The Australian actor, who plays Jake Sully in the series, told People magazine that work on the film is due to resume soon.

"We go back to work on it in a month and it's big. It's bigger than you can imagine," Worthington told the publication.

The franchise kicked off with the first film back in 2009 before sequel Avatar: The Way of Water was released in 2022.

In November, Cameron said he would potentially conclude the Avatar franchise with the third movie if the second was not as profitable as hoped.

Avatar: The Way of Water was filmed in Wellington in conjunction with Wētā Digital and cost US$550 million to make. It made US$880 million at the global box office in its first week of release alone.

In December, Cameron confirmed he would make all of the future Avatar films in Aotearoa.

Around 1500 New Zealand-based crew members have been working on the series.

"I couldn't be prouder of the New Zealand team. I think we had in the order of 15 - 1600 hundred people in New Zealand who had jobs on this thing - a lot of them at Wētā - also 500 ish on the live-action, on the set construction, the props, the subs, the crab suits, the ship, the water tank - which we shot up in Auckland," Cameron told Newshub at the time. 

"I couldn't be prouder of them and what they accomplished, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

"For a couple of years there, we had a little bubble reality, where we could work freely and all of that sort of thing. But man it was such a joyful experience to work and create there and I plan to make all my future films in New Zealand as well there, ongoing, so good on ya Kiwis!" 

Avatar 3 is currently scheduled to be released on December 19, 2025.