James Cameron announced four upcoming Avatar sequels at CinemaCon on Thursday

By Michael Miller
April 14, 2016 03:30 PM
AP Photo/20th Century Fox

The visually stunning world of James Cameron’s Avatar is coming back in a big way.

The director confirmed there will be four sequels to the 2009 space epic at 20th Century Fox’s CinemaCon presentation Thursday.

“We have decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic process,” Cameron revealed.

The current plan is to release the first of the new films on Christmas 2018, with the next installments tentatively scheduled for Christmas 2020, Christmas 2022 and Christmas 2023.

“Each one of which stands alone,” Cameron promised, “but which together form a complete saga.”

He added, “I’ve been working for the last coupe of years with four top screenwriters, and in parallel with the top artists and designers in the world, to design the world of avatar going forward: the characters, the creatures, the environments, the new cultures, everything that it takes to bring that world to life.

“So far, the art I’m seeing, is in pure imagination, really far beyond the first film,” he continued. “It’s going to be a true epic saga that’s told in this rich and complex world.”

With so many exciting ideas in the works, Cameron said he and his team began “to bump up against the limitations of our art form. There’s just to much story and too many great visual ideas for two sequels.”

Fans of the franchise might have a chance to revisit Pandora before the first sequel premieres. Cameron also announced that Disney theme parks “is constructing a new multi-acre land which is called Pandora, the world of Avatar.” Development on the park is underway in Orlando and is scheduled to open next year.

The original Avatar, starring Sam Worthington (who’s expected to return for the sequels) earned $2.8 billion worldwide, and remains the all-time highest-grossing film in the world.

Reporting by MARK GRAY