Deadline reports Weta Digital, Peter Jackson’s New Zealand based visual effects company behind The Lord of the Rings trilogy has begun working on all four of James Cameron’s sequels to Avatar.
Weta provided the digital effects for the original 2009 blockbuster which popularized 3D in cinemas and remains the top-grossing film at the worldwide box office with $2.7 billion. The film was first released on December 18, 2009, followed by a subsequent release of a special edition on August 27, 2010.
“What Joe Letteri and Weta Digital bring to these stories is impossible to quantify,” said Cameron in a statement. “Since we made Avatar, Weta continued to prove themselves as doing the best CG animation, the most human, the most alive, the most photo-realistic effects in the world. And of course, that now means I can push them to take it even further.”
Weta will continue to bring the world of Pandora to life and expand Cameron’s visions as the sequels will explore new locations on the planet not seen in the first film. The sequels are said to be four standalone experiences that will form together one epic saga Cameron has spent the last several years writing.
Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Joel David Moore, and C. C. H. Pounder are returning for the sequels along and newcomers Cliff Curtis and Oona Chaplin.
Avatar 2 is currently slated to hit theaters on December 18, 2020, with the additional three follow-ups releasing on December 17, 2021, December 20, 2024, and December 19, 2025.