Na'vi fans hoping to journey back to Pandora for Avatar 3 next year are in for a disappointment — the third film in the franchise has been delayed and pushed back its release date by one full year to December 2025. Further, Avatar 4 and Avatar 5, also previously announced, have pushed back their releases as well. Avatar 4 had been scheduled to premiere in 2026, but will now come out on Dec. 21, 2029. Avatar 5, which was to premiere in 2028, will go move back by a few years to Dec. 19, 2031.

Bottom line, hopefully no one has dinner date plans with James Cameron for the next eight years or so because it seems he's going to be pretty busy for a while.

The Oscar-winning director had previously announced that most of Avatar 3 was already completed. This delay news raises the prospect that the notoriously perfectionist filmmaker may have decided to go back to shoot additional footage. Cameron has also previously disclosed that some of Avatar 4 has already been shot in order to capture footage of the younger characters in their younger state. Apparently, most of Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 take place after a considerable jump in time in the Pandora universe.

The scripts for all of these sequels were already locked, so while this delay is not a direct result of the WGA strike — it is indirectly related in that the release date shifts of other major Disney and Marvel blockbusters due to the strike caused some major release date dominoes for the Avatar sequels.

Further, Avatar producer Jon Landau tweeted a message to fans explaining that “Each Avatar film is an exciting but epic undertaking that takes time to bring to the quality level we as filmmakers strive for and audiences have come to expect. The team is hard at work and can’t wait to bring audiences back to Pandora in December 2025.”

With the blockbuster success of Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water, Disney and 20th Century Studios are undoubtedly willing to give James Cameron and his creative team as long as they need to complete the films according to their grand vision. But for fans hoping to see the next adventure with their favorite blue Na'vi family on Christmas next year, better make new plans and save the holiday viewing of Avatar 3 until 2025.