Filmmaker James Cameron is extending the world of Avatar by adding a fourth sequel to his franchise plans.
The 61-year-old director, scored a box office hit in 2009 with the release of the original fantasy blockbuster, which starred Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana. It currently holds the title as the highest-grossing movie in history.
He then announced there would be three follow-ups, with Avatar 2 scheduled to hit cinemas in late 2016, but last year, Mr Cameron admitted the writing process was taking longer than expected, and the second instalment was delayed.
Mr Cameron made a surprise appearance at CinemaCon in Las Vegas and offered up both good and bad news to fans.
“We’re making four epic films that stand-alone but together form a saga. These movies were designed to be seen in theatres first. I’ve been working with the top four screenwriters and designers in the world to design the world of Avatar going forward. The environments, new cultures; from what I’m seeing, the art on the wall. In pure imagination is just beyond the first film. I’m speechless,” he said.
Avatar 3 is pegged for release in 2020, with the fourth and fifth instalments following in 2022 and 2023.