Marking a significant expansion of his already ambitious plans for the much-anticipated "Avatar" sequels, James Cameron announced that the films have grown in number from two to three. James Cameron, in fact, has hired screenwriters Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds), Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planets of the Apes) and Shane Salerno to collaborate with him on the screenplays for the three films. As originally planned with the two sequels, the three pictures will be filmed simultaneously with production beginning next year. The release of the first sequel will be in December 2016, with the second to follow in December 2017 and the third a year later on December 2018. "Avatar 2", "Avatar 3" and "Avatar 4" will be produced by Cameron and Jon Landau through their Lightstorm Entertainment banner. Like the original film, Lightstorm will work with Joe Letteri and his team at WETA Digital to realize the worlds of the sequels.
If you didn't know, "Avatar" is the highest grossing film of all time and is also the top-selling Blu-ray disc of all time. The film won Golden Globe® awards for Best Motion Picture and Best Director and was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and won Oscars for art direction, visual effects and cinematography. "Avatar" was written by Cameron from an idea he nurtured for over a decade, while working on the technology necessary to realize its wholly imagined world. Working with WETA Digital, Cameron created a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind that fully realized the potential of 3D on the big screen.
The three "Avatar" sequels will mark Cameron’s latest collaborations with 20th Century Fox, a relationship that spans nearly 30 years and marks one of the most successful filmmaker-studio alliances in motion picture history. Cameron and Fox first joined forces in 1985 for "Aliens", which became a sci-fi classic. Next came "The Abyss", which revolutionized visual effects technology; then came the blockbuster, "True Lies". In 1996, Fox greenlighted Cameron’s "Titanic", which became the most successful film in history, and won a record-breaking eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.