James Cameron will start writing the scripts for two "Avatar" sequels early next year, aiming to land the first one in theaters four years from now, The Associated Press reports.
Executives at 20th Century Fox announced Wednesday that Cameron has settled on two sequels to the blockbuster hit as his next film projects, with plans to begin production in late 2011.
The studio hopes to have the first of the sequels in theaters in December 2014, with the third movie in the franchise following in December 2015. Like the first film, the sequels will be shot in 3-D.
Cameron will decide whether to shoot the films back-to-back after he completes the scripts for the sequels to his sci-fi sensation. Set on the distant moon Pandora, "Avatar" is the biggest modern blockbuster, with $2.8 billion at the box office worldwide.
"In the second and third films, which will be self-contained stories that also fulfill a greater story arc, we will not back off the throttle of 'Avatar's' visual and emotional horsepower, and will continue to explore its themes and characters, which touched the hearts of audiences in all cultures around the world," Cameron said in a news release.
"I'm looking forward to returning to Pandora, a world where our imaginations can run wild."