Avatar to get three sequels – and the first will be released in 2016

James Cameron has revealed that "two films would not be enough" to tell the story he wants to tell

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Liked 2009 3D spectacular Avatar? That’s good, because we are set to get not one, not two, but THREE sequels.

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Fox studios have revealed that there will be three follow-up films to the 2009 blockbuster, which still holds the title of the highest grossing movie of all time.

We were expecting two sequels to the hit film, but director James Cameron has now revealed that two “would not be enough” to tell the story.

“In writing the new films, I’ve come to realize that Avatar’s world, story and characters have become even richer than I anticipated,” Cameron said in a statement. “It became apparent that two films would not be enough to capture everything I wanted to put on screen.”

The three movies will be filmed at the same time, starting next year in 2014, before being released in December 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Set in 2154 when humans are running out of the Earth’s natural resources, the first Avatar film follows Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a disabled former Marine. Jake is sent to the alien planet of Pandora to help the Resources Development Administration mine for a valuable mineral, operating as an avatar because Pandora’s atmosphere is poisonous to humans.

While on Pandora, Jake becomes integrated into the native Na’vi society, falls in love with Na’vi Neytiri (played by Zoe Saldana) and changes allegiances, at the end becoming transferred permanently into his avatar body.

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War of the Worlds’ Josh Friedman, Armageddon’s Shane Salerno and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver are signed on to work with Cameron on the three new films.