James Cameron has expanded his plans for his return trip to the world of “Avatar” — he’s now planning three sequels to the massive box office hit, and he’s bringing four new screenwriters along on the journey.
Fox announced Thursday that Cameron has hired Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”), Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (“Rise of the Planets of the Apes”), and Shane Salerno (Savages, Salinger) to collaborate with him on the screenplays for the three films, all of which will be shot simultaneously, with production beginning next year.
“Avatar 2″ is scheduled to be released in December 2016, with subsequent films following in December 2017 and December 2018.
The Fox statement indicated that Cameron and Jon Landau will produce through their Lightstorm Entertainment banner. Lightstorm will again work with Joe Letteri and his team at WETA Digital to realize the worlds of the sequels.
“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. 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.”
In an interview with Hero Complex last year, the filmmaker said that the then-two-planned sequels to his film about life on the alien moon of Pandora will introduce new environments, creatures and characters, and will build on the technology he and his crew developed for the first movie.
– Gina McIntyre
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