James Cameron is planning not just one but two return trips to Pandora.
The Oscar-winning director has locked in a deal to make two sequels to the smash hit Avatar, with Avatar 2 having a target release date of December 2014 and Avatar 3 aiming for December 2015.
Cameron is set to begin writing the films early next year and wants to start production by the end of 2011. Jon Landau will return to produce the sequels alongside Cameron through the filmmaker’s Lightstorm Entertainment label and 20th Century Fox.
Avatar set a new high mark at the box office after its release in December 2009, grossing nearly $2.8 billion worldwide.
“Avatar was conceived as an epic work of fantasy – a world that audiences could visit, across all media platforms, and this moment marks the launch of the next phase of that world,” said Cameron in a statement. “In the second and third films, which will be self contained stories that also fulfill a greater story arc, we will not back off the throttle of Avatar’s visual and emotional horsepower, and will continue to explore its themes and characters, which touched the hearts of audiences in all cultures around the world.”