We reported yesterday that screenwriter Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) was rumored to be penning Avatar 2, and now it has been announced that director James Cameron and 20th Century Fox will be making three sequels – to be shot simultaneously. Production is slated to begin next year – Friedman will pen the first sequel, the writing team of Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (the duo behind Rise of the Planet of the Apes) will write the second one, and Shane Salerno (writer of the 2012 Oliver Stone film Savages and director of the forthcoming documentary Salinger based on the life of J.D. Salinger) will writer the third sequel.
Avatar 2-4 will be shot in the same New Zealand studios where Peter Jackson toiled away in similar fashion with The Hobbit films, utilizing the same visual effects shop of WETA Digital that worked on the first Avatar film’s groundbreaking visuals. Avatar 2 is set for release in December of 2016, with the rest of the bunch to follow in the same month of 2017 and 2018.
“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 – to join me in completing the films screenplays,” commented Cameron.