'Avatar' now getting three sequels, 'Avatar 2' release moved back to 2016

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Though James Cameron still hasn't started filming "Avatar 2" or "3" yet, he's already decided that the franchise needs an "Avatar 4." Via 20th Century Fox, Cameron has hired screenwriters Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, and Shane Salerno to help him make the three films' screenplays.

Like his initial plan with "Avatar 2" and "3," these three movies will go into production at the same time, now starting in 2014. "Avatar 2" was initially slated to come out in 2015, but now it's looking at a Dec. 2016 release date. "Avatar 3" will hit theaters in Dec. 2017, and "Avatar 4" in 2018.

This at least gets "Avatar 2" out of the rat race that 2015 has become. Movies coming out that year include but are not limited to: "The Fantastic Four" reboot, "Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Assassin's Creed," "Terminator" reboot, "Independence Day 2," "Pirates of the Caribbean 5," "Ant-Man," "Bond 24," "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 2" and "Finding Dory."

Cameron and Jon Landau are both producing the three "Avatar" sequels, with WETA Digital again working on the special effects. "Building upon the world we created with 'Avatar' has been a rare and incredibly rewarding experience," Cameron says 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."

"Avatar" came out on Dec. 18, 2009. It went on to make almost $2.8 billion worldwide.

Photo/Video credit: 20th Century Fox
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