According to a press release from 20th Century Fox this morning, director James Cameron has agreed to make Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 as his next films. Cameron will begin working on the scripts early next year, and hopes to begin production later in 2011. He will decide whether he will shoot the films back-to-back after completing the scripts. The first sequel is scheduled for December 2014, and the second for December 2015.
Avatar is the biggest money-making film of all time, earning nearly $2.8 billion worldwide at the box office. It is also the top-selling Blu-Ray disc in history.
Cameron said, "It is a rare and remarkable opportunity when a filmmaker gets to build a fantasy world, and watch it grow, with the resources and partnership of a global media company. Avatar was conceived as an epic work of fantasy – a world that audiences could visit, across all media platforms, and this moment marks the launch of the next phase of that world. With two new films on the drawing boards, my company and I are embarking on an epic journey with our partners at Twentieth Century Fox.
"Our goal is to meet and exceed the global audience's expectations for the richness of Avatar's visual world and the power of the storytelling. In the second and third films, which will be self contained stories that also fulfill a greater story arc, we will not back off the throttle of Avatar's visual and emotional horsepower, and will continue to explore its themes and characters, which touched the hearts of audiences in all cultures around the world. I'm looking forward to returning to Pandora, a world where our imaginations can run wild."