No, you aren’t experiencing déjà vu. Back in 2017, news broke that actress Oona Chaplin, granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin and veteran of Game of Thrones, was cast in James Cameron’s sequels to Avatar. At that time, we even heard that her character was named “Varang.” But time passes, sequels are delayed, and now that Avatar: The Way of Water is making truckloads of money in theaters, we finally know who Varang is and when she’ll appear.
In an interview with Empire (via Variety), Avatar producer Jon Landau revealed that Chaplin’s character Varang is the leader of the Na’vi fire clan called the Ash People, who will debut in Avatar 3, scheduled for release December 20, 2024.
Described by the magazine as “an aggressive, volcanic race,” Landau points out that while the Na’vi we’ve seen in the first two movies have been considered heroic, they aren’t all like that. “There are good humans and there are bad humans,” the producer said. “It’s the same thing on the Na’vi side. Oftentimes, people don’t see themselves as bad. What is the root cause of how they evolve into what we perceive as bad? Maybe there are other factors there that we aren’t aware of.”
So, what? Is Avatar 3 going to be fire vs. water? What is this, Avatar: The Last Airbender? We don’t know just yet but the idea that the films will continue to expand and explore not just new areas of Pandora, but new groups of Na’vi speaks to the scope of the franchise Cameron has created. We’ve then heard that Avatar 4 is kind of bonkers and part 5 will, in some small way, actually have Earth as part of the story. So yeah, it’s going to be a lot of Avatar for a lot of years, and it continues next with the Ash People.
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