Avatar 2 will land in cinemas in December 2016, Avatar 3 in December 2017 and Avatar 4 in 2018.

Fourth film in the pipeline for Avatar series

Director James Cameron has revealed his plans for the Avatar series have grown too large to fit into three films.

Production for Avatar 2, 3 and 4 will begin next year, with all three being filmed back to back.

Avatar 2 will land in cinemas in December 2016, Avatar 3 in December 2017 and Avatar 4 in 2018.

"Building upon the world we created with Avatar has been a rare and incredibly rewarding experience," said Cameron.

"In writing the new films, I’ve come to realize that Avatar’s world, story and characters have become even richer than I anticipated, and it became apparent that two films would not be enough to capture everything I wanted to put on screen. And to help me continue to expand this universe, I’m pleased to bring aboard Amanda, Rick, Shane and Josh — all writers I’ve long admired -­ to join me in completing the films screenplays."

The screenwriters mentioned by first name by Cameron are Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa who penned Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Savages screenwriter Shane Salerno and Josh Friedman who was a screenwriter on War of the Worlds.

The rest of the series will be produced by Cameron and Jon Landau through their Lightstorm Entertainment banner and as with the first film, Lightstorm will work with Joe Letteri and his team at WETA Digital on the rest of the franchise.

“We at the studio have no higher priority, and can feel no greater joy, than enabling Jim to continue and expand his vision of the world of Avatar," added 20th Century Fox chairman and CEO, Jim Gianopulos.

"The growing breadth and scale of Jim Cameron’s plans for his magnificent fantasy worlds continue to amaze us all.”

Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time and is also the best-selling Blu-ray disc of all time.

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