James Cameron Blue It: 'Avatar' To Get Three Sequels

[caption id="attachment_23368" align="alignleft" width="220"]Fox Fox[/caption]

If Elvis had a Blue Christmas, we expect director James Cameron will later think of this week as Blue Late Summer. Okay, maybe the wording isn't so elegant, but consider this: Cameron made a splash in the long dormant lake of "Avatar" news yesterday when it was announced that he had hired screenwriter Josh Friedman to help him with the "Avatar 2" script in anticipation for a Christmas 2016 release. Now, ol' Jim has gone and told everyone that we should hold onto our Na'vi butts, because there are going to be three "Avatar" sequels.

Is someone maybe a little worried about the Smurfs stealing all the blue-guy glory with this week's release of "The Smurfs 2"?

According to a press release from 20th century Fox, screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver ("Rise of the Planets of the Apes") and Shane Salerno ("Savages," "Salinger") have been brought on board in addition to Friedman to help Cameron pen the quadrilogy.

"In writing the new films, I've come to realize that 'Avatar's' world, story and characters have become even richer than I anticipated, and it became apparent that two films would not be enough to capture everything I wanted to put on screen," Cameron said in the release, rationalizing the additional sequel. "To help me continue to expand this universe, I'm pleased to bring aboard Amanda, Rick, Shane and Josh — all writers I've long admired -— to join me in completing the films' screenplays."

We wonder if they're all holed up in a cabin somewhere, painting each other blue and throwing off Avatar-ian witticisms and laughing. "No, you just blue yourself!"

Okay, maybe not.

Studio chairman Jim Gianopulos was enthusiastic about these latest fleshed-out additions to the roster, and is quoted in the release as saying, "We at the studio have no higher priority, and can feel no greater joy, than enabling Jim to continue and expand his vision of the world of 'Avatar.'  The growing breadth and scale of Jim Cameron's plans for his magnificent fantasy worlds continue to amaze us all."

Released in 2009, "Avatar" is the highest-grossing movie of all time, pulling in more than $749 million domestically and global sales of $2.78 billion. The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, and won Best Picture and Best Director at the Golden Globes. The remaining three films in the series are all set for December releases in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Meanwhile, we're still waiting for the epic "Titanic"-"Avatar" mashup we've been dreaming of: Titanitar. Just imagine. I'm the king of Pandora!