James Cameron Confirms Two ‘Avatar’ Sequels

James Cameron and Twentieth Century Fox announced Wednesday that Avatar 2 and 3 will be the Oscar-winning director’s next two films, ending speculation that a 3D Cleopatra film with Angelina Jolie could be his next project. 

“We had no higher priority, and can feel no greater joy, than enabling Jim to continue and expand his vision of the world of AVATAR,” Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman said in a statement. 

And who can blame them? The original is the most financially successful film to date. It grossed nearly $2.8 billion worldwide, a number that dwarfs the #2 film, Cameron’s own Titanic, by almost a billion dollars. 

Brush up on Avatar with the first film’s official trailer:

“It is a rare and remarkable opportunity when a filmmaker gets to build a fantasy world, and watch it grow, with the resources and partnership of a global media company,” Cameron said. “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.”

Cameron plans to begin writing part two in early 2011 with production commencing later in the year. He won’t decide whether to shoot the two back to back until he’s written both scripts, but the films are slated for release on Christmas 2014 and 2015.