Twentieth Century Fox and the award-winning filmmaker announced yesterday there will be three sequels to Avatar, one more than Cameron had originally planned.
After Cameron found two films “would not be enough,” the director added a fourth one to round off the series.
“Building upon the world we created with Avatar has been a rare and incredibly rewarding experience,” Cameron said in a statement. “In writing the new films, I’ve come to realize that Avatar’s world, story and characters have become even richer than I anticipated, and it became apparent that two films would not be enough to capture everything I wanted to put on screen.”
Avatar 2, 3 and 4 will be shot simultaneously, with production kicking off next year. They will be released in December of 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Cameron has recruited screenwriters Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds), Shane Salerno (Savages) and Rise of the Planet of the Apes scribes Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver to make sure there’s enough creative juice to work on the three scripts.
In the days of Hollywood’s tent-pole strategy, Cameron’s announcement comes as no surprise. The original Avatar film (2009) became the highest-grossing movie of all time, accumulating over $2.78 billion in global ticket sales.
If the sequels are a fraction as good as the first and audiences don’t get Na’vi overload, just imagine what the cumulative haul could be.