'Avatar 2' news: Film to be released in December 2017, confirms director

(Avatar official website)James Cameron's "Avatar" (2009)

The first "Avatar" was a groundbreaking film released in 2009, proving James Cameron legendary expertise in filmmaking. And although six years have passed, it still holds the record as the highest-grossing movie of all time with $2.782 billion worldwide. But fans from all over the planet are wondering when will the sequel hit the theaters.

It took 14 years for Cameron to bring "Avatar" to the big screen, so it is no wonder that the director is taking his time planning, developing and executing the storyline of Pandora and the Na'vi people. The anticipation is almost over, though, as the director himself confirmed with Montreal Gazette that "Avatar 2" is scheduled to hit theaters on Christmas 2017.

"Christmas of '17 is the target. At least, that's what we've announced. But I don't consider that to be as important as the fact that when we get all three films done, we drop them a year apart. I call it a meta-narrative that runs across the three movies. Each film stands alone, but it also tells one much larger story," Cameron confirmed.

While Cameron was the sole credited screenwriter of the first "Avatar," he is not doing it alone for the three sequels. This is in the hope that bringing in a whole new team of respected writers will result to three films that can once again dazzle audiences.

The first to sign in for the project is Josh Friedman, who wrote Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" remake and was one of the key people for the TV series "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." He was then followed by three other big names: Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver of the "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and Shane Salerno of "Armageddon."

There are no plot details revealed yet, but Cameron gave some hints on what to expect from the three films, saying: "Each film stands alone, but it also tells one much larger story. We have design more or less finished, which is an enormous task. It's been about a two-year task. (We've finished) all the creatures and the landscapes, and the new worlds within the world of Pandora that you see."

The return of cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver was also confirmed.

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