Yesterday, we learned that Terminator: The Sarah Chronicles creator Josh Friedman was tapped to write the sequel to James Cameron‘s long-gestating sequel to Avatar. This was the first real sign that production was moving forward for the film.
Now comes word that Cameron isn’t only bringing in Friedman, but multiple other screenwriters to work on not one, but three sequels. Avatar 2, Avatar 3, and Avatar 4 will be shot simultaneously starting next year, and Avatar 2 will hit theaters December 2016.
Cameron plans to release the three sequels in the next few years, meaning that the sequels would be shot much like how Peter Jackson shot The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Deadline reports that each sequel will have three different sets of writers. Friedman will write Avatar 2, Rise Of Planet Of The Apes scribes Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver will write another, and Shane Salerno, the writer and director of Salinger who had previously collaborated with Cameron on Fantastic Voyage, will write another script. The three will work with Cameron on three separate Avatar movies.
There were some minor inconsistencies as to how many Avatar films will be shot, but the hiring of these different writers for three different films confirms that there will be four Avatar films.
According to the site, the release of the first sequel will be in December 2016, with the second to follow in December 2017, and the third hits theaters in December of 2018. Along with his producer Jon Landau, Cameron was looking for A-list screenwriters who were vying for the job.
Here’s what Cameron had to say:
“Building upon the world we created with Avatar has been a rare and incredibly rewarding experience. 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 –Â to join me in completing the films screenplays.”
Filming begins next year.