James Cameron really said “the whale stays in the picture.” Avatar: The Way of Water’s MVP sea creature is confirmed to be returning to the franchise in a big way, and we couldn’t be more excited to see the fan favorite become even more integral in Avatar 3.
Payakan—the only friend of Jake and Neytiri’s son, Lo’ak (Britain Dalton), and a redeemed outcast hero by the end of the film—has a new mission in life, and that’s to go all whale John Wick on the evil humans who are after the Tulkun (his kind) for their immortality serum. In an interview with Empire, producer Jon Landau shared, “We view Payakan as a character, not just as a creature. We will continue to explore his relationship with Lo’ak.” Payakan and Lo’ak’s relationship really grounded Cameron’s ambitious sequel to the first Avatar, helping draw the tribes together as a united front for the impending human threat.
And Lo’ak is set to be the next film’s main protagonist and narrator, bro. Brendan Cowell, who plays Payakan’s enemy Mick Scoresby, is also set to return after losing an arm—but there’s no word yet if Jemaine Clement’s jaded scientist made it out alive after the big battle at the end of The Way of Water. Either way, it seems certain Edie Falco’s General Ardmore will stop at nothing to let humans slather on that whale goo to live forever, no matter how many Na’vi tribes stand in her way—so whale vengeance is definitely going to be a big theme as the series continues.
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