No one on Pandora will ever live their life a quarter mile at a time, or go sandwich crazy.
Several years ago, Vin Diesel began teasing in very strong and non-subtle terms that he was going to appear somewhere in the Avatar sequels. In 2019, he told MTV “I have spent time with [Avatar director] James Cameron… but I have not filmed yet.” The word yet certainly implied he would film something for one of the movies eventually.
But Diesel never appeared in Avatar: The Way of Water. And it seems he won’t appear in any of the upcoming Avatar sequels. Franchise producer Jon Landau told Empire that Diesel is not slated for a role in the saga.
“He came in,” Landau said, “visited the set one day to see what we were doing and people took that out of context.”
Some of Diesel’s quotes about Avatar are difficult to take out of context — Diesel once said in a 2019 interview “I’m doing Avatar.” That’s not exactly a sentence that’s open to the reader’s interpretation! (At the time, he claimed he was doing it to work more with Zoe Saldana, his co-star in the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy franchises.)
Then again, The Way of Water has been so successful in theaters that it has ensured that Avatar will have a very long life in the next few years. Diesel wasn’t in The Way of Water, and he may not even be in Avatar 3 (which has already been shot). But Cameron has plans for at least two more sequels after that. Who‘s to say in five years Diesel won’t play some new Na’vi character Cameron hasn’t even written yet in Avatar 5? Hope springs eternal on Pandora.
Avatar 3 is currently scheduled to open in theaters (sans Vin Diesel) on December 20, 2024. Diesel will next be seen in Fast X, scheduled to open in theaters on May 19, 2023.
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