James Cameron to make three ‘Avatar’ sequels

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James Cameron’s “Avatar” project just got even bigger — so large that Cameron is no longer going it alone.

The director and 20th Century Fox announced Thursday that they are now making three, not two, sequels to Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster, the highest-grossing movie of all time with global sales of $2.78 billion.

Rather than writing the sequels himself, as was Cameron’s original plan, the filmmaker has brought on a team of screenwriters to collaborate on the follow-ups: Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”); the team of Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (“Rise of the Planets of the Apes”); and Shane Salerno (“Savages”).


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The three sequels will be filmed simultaneously, with production commencing in 2014.

But fans will have to wait a long time to see any of the new editions.

The first sequel is set for December 2016, with the other two films following in December 2017 and December 2018. The movies will be produced by Cameron and Jon Landau’s Lightstorm Entertainment, with Joe Letteri and Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital running visual effects.

“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,” Cameron said in a statement. “And to help me continue to expand this universe, I’m pleased to bring aboard Amanda, Rick, Shane and Josh -- all writers I’ve long admired -- to join me in completing the films’ screenplays.”

Added 20th Century Fox Chairman Jim Gianopulos: “We at the studio have no higher priority, and can feel no greater joy, than enabling Jim to continue and expand his vision of the world of ‘Avatar.’ The growing breadth and scale of Jim Cameron’s plans for his magnificent fantasy worlds continue to amaze us all.”


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