Surprise: 20th Century Fox Film, James Cameron to release four (not three) ‘Avatar’ sequels, first to hit Christmas 2018

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What’s better than three “Avatar” sequels? Four of them.

At the end of 20th Century Fox Film’s CinemaCon presentation today, filmmaker and driving force behind the first “Avatar” film James Cameron made a surprise appearance and announced that there will be four sequels to the highest-grossing film of all time, one more than previously announced. The sequels are scheduled to hit theaters Christmas 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023.

“We have decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic process,” James said at the CinemaCon session. He added that planning for three sequels was too constraining.

James described the four “Avatar” sequels as a series of standalone epic movies that come together to “form a complete saga.”

Avatar,” a story about a paraplegic Marine deployed to the moon Pandora, was released and distributed by 20th Century Fox Film in 2009 and grossed a record $2.8 billion worldwide. The groundbreaking film is credited for pushing the boundaries of 3D technology and computer graphics for the industry. It earned nine Academy Award nominations, winning for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects. James was the director, writer, producer and co-editor of the movie.

The newly announced four sequels doubles the two sequels James originally planned for. “There is too much story and visionary ideas for two sequels,” he said. “So we talked to Fox and expanded it to three sequels. Now that the script work is finishing up, it’s not three. It looks like four. So after talking it through with our partners at Fox and giving it a lot of thought, we decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic project.”

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