avatar sequels

The actors have close deals to return to next three installments.

Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana have closed deals to return for the next three installments of the “Avatar” franchise.

The actors join Stephen Lang, who has also closed a deal to return to the franchise. James Cameron will direct and produce along with his producing partner Jon Landau.

Fox recently announced that there would be three — not two — more sequels and that Cameron had hired screenwriters Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”), Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Rise of the Planets of the Apes”), and Shane Salerno (“Savages,” “Salinger”) to collaborate with him on the screenplays for “Avatar 2,” “Avatar 3″ and “Avatar 4.”

It’s no surprise that Worthington and Saldana were expected to return since Worthington recently said the plan was to shoot all films back-to-back-back. The long shooting schedule meant that negotiations for the actors’ options took longer than expected.

“Avatar 2″ arrives in theaters December 2016.

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