In a move that should surprise no one, 20th Century Fox has made a deal with both Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana to have them reprise their roles as Jake Sully and Neytiri in not only Avatar 2, but also Avatar 3 and Avatar 4. Stephen Lang, who played Colonel Miles Quaritch in the 2009 film, was already set to return.
Commented James Cameron:
“Jake Sully is rare combination of passion, strength, street smarts and soul, which requires a lot from an actor. Sam brought to the role a combination of sensitivity, vulnerability and strength. Zoë captured every aspect of the character I envisioned, bringing to Neytiri a mix of delicacy, fierceness and incredible physicality. I am beyond pleased they’ll be returning with us to Pandora.”
The news about Worthington and Saldana was broke by The Hollywood Reporter. Though they don’t have any details regarding exactly what the new movies will be about, insider sources have told them that Sully and Neytiri will actually have kids together in the first sequel. There’s no information about what kind of role they will play in the plot.
Last year, Cameron announced that not only is he moving forward with the most anticipated films of the next decade, but that the sequels had grown in number from two films to three.
Additionally, to help bring his expanding universe to life, Cameron hired screenwriters Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds), Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planets of the Apes) and Shane Salerno (Savages, Salinger) to collaborate with him on the screenplays for the three films.
The as yet untitled Avatar sequels will be filmed back-to-back. The release of the first follow-up will be in December 2016, with the second to follow in December 2017, and the third a year later.