'Avatar 2' release date in 2018, sequel to be filmed at the same time as next three 'Avatar' films

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Since the success of the 2009 hit “Avatar,” fans have been waiting for writer and director James Cameron to deliver the sequel as it was clear that Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and Jake’s (Sam Worthington) story is not yet finished. In the film, Jake was saved from dying by Neytiri and the rest of the Na’vi, and his soul was transferred permanently into his Avatar with the help of the Tree of Souls.

Cameron is currently gearing up to make the sequel and it looks like the story for “Avatar 2” is already finished, along with more stories for additional “Avatar” films. Recently, the “Titanic” director spoke with Variety and said that he planned the next story arc to be a trilogy, but there is enough material for a fifth “Avatar” movie.

“I overwrite, and my writers overwrote as well,” said Cameron. “But basically the first of the sequels cloned itself and became two films, so now its four films.”

Cameron added that the studio, 20th Century Fox, is “very happy” about the fact that there will be four new installments to the franchise and while it will be an opportunity to make money, there is also the fact that the studio will have to spend more for production and promotion of the upcoming films.

The director said earlier this year that filming will take place at the same time for “Avatar 2” to “Avatar 5,” and that they will shoot it in such a way as though they’re filming a miniseries.

“We’ll be shooting across all [Avatar scripts] simultaneously,” said Cameron (via We Got This Covered). “So Monday I might be doing a scene from Movie Four, and Tuesday I’m doing a scene from Movie One…We’re working across, essentially, eight hours of story.”

The director said that filming the next “Avatar” films is probably the most challenging thing he has ever done, as he and his team have to keep track of the story arc while filming all four films. Cameron even likened it to shooting all three “Godfather” films at the same time.

“Avatar 2” is slated to arrive in theaters in December 2018, and the next installment will premiere in December 2020. “Avatar 4” is expected to debut in 2022, while the final movie is set for a 2023 release.