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James Cameron: ‘Avatar’ Franchise Will Now Have Three Sequels

2018 is a long time from now, but chances are you’ll be lining up at your local movie theater to watch the third Avatar sequel.

That’s right. 20th Century Fox and James Cameron announced on Thursday that there will now be three, not two, sequels to the 2009 blockbuster. [via]

The first sequel is due in theaters December 2016, with the second and third to arrive in December 2017 and December 2018, respectively.

Cameron has employed the genius of several big time writers for the screenplays, including Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds), Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Jurassic Park IV) and Shane Salerno (Savages).

“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 currently stands as the highest-grossing film of all time, thanks to some $2.78 billion in worldwide ticket sales. The previous record was held by Cameron’s other blockbuster, Titanic, which grossed $2.19 billion in 1997. The Avengers‘ 2012 run landed the Marvel film in third place with $1.51 billion.

Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver are all expected to reprise their roles in the Avatar sequels.

Craving more Avatar news? We did some sequel talk with the film’s special effects guru Joe Letteri in December 2012:

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