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Sigourney Weaver Returning to ‘Avatar’ Sequels as New Character

Sigourney Weaver will return to James Cameron’s trio of “Avatar” sequels as a new character.

Cameron and 20th Century Fox made the announcement Monday, noting that Weaver’s Gracey Augustine character perished in 2009’s “Avatar.”

“Sigourney and I have a long creative history, dating back to 1985 when we made ‘Aliens,'” Cameron said. “We’re good friends who’ve always worked well together, so it just feels right that she’s coming back for the Avatar sequels. Her character of Grace Augustine, as fans know, died in the first movie, so she’s playing a different and in many ways more challenging character in the upcoming films.”

Cameron did not specify what role Weaver will be portraying.

“We’re both looking forward to this new creative challenge, the latest chapter in our long and continuing collaboration,” Cameron added.

The “Avatar sequels” will be filmed back-to-back-to-back and produced by Cameron and Jon Landau through their Lightstorm Entertainment.

Cameron announced in December that he would shoot in New Zealand and that he expected the films to be released on the previously announced dates of December 2016, December 2017 and December 2018.

“Avatar,” released in 2009, is the highest-grossing movie ever with $2.78 billion worldwide. The sci-fi actioner was shot in Los Angeles and New Zealand.

The three films will spend at least $412 million (500 million in New Zealand dollars) in that nation as a condition of an agreement between Fox, Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and the government of New Zealand. In return, the films will receive a film industry tax rebate of 25%.

During an October interview, “Avatar” star Sam Worthington said he believed production on the sequel would begin by next October.

Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Stephen Lang will reprise their roles from the original.

Cameron had announced in August there would be three sequels and that screenwriters Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”), Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Rise of the Planets of the Apes”), and Shane Salerno (“Savages,” “Salinger”) would collaborate with him on screenplays for “Avatar 2,” “Avatar 3″ and “Avatar 4.”

Weaver is repped by UTA.

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