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It’s a good thing that Avatar made an obscene amount of money back in 2009, because James Cameron has got huge plans for the future of the franchise. In fact, according to composer James Horner, the legendary director has written four scripts for potential sequels, however Cameron isn’t completely sure how many films these pages will ultimately become.

James Horner spoke to Hey U Guys at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Monday night after a special screening of Titanic Live, which was accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra’s 40-piece choir. Unfortunately, despite the choir’s presence, Leonardo DiCaprio still drowned. Conversation soon turned to the long-touted Avatar sequels that Jimmy C has been hard at work on for more than five years now. While giving an update on the future of Pandora, Horner confirmed that Cameron has completed scripts for four films, which is one more than previously revealed. However, Cameron doesn't want to make four more Avatar films, he only wants three, and he's trying his damnedest to make sure that's the case. Horner said:

He’s got four sequels script-wise, and he’s trying to make it into three. And I think that’s where the effort is going right now [...] how do you keep it from expanding into a fifth movie?

While it’s great to hear that Cameron's ambitious vision for Avatar’s universe and its characters is so vast that the franchise could expand to such an impressive extent, it’s a tad disappointing to learn that the films are still at the script stage. However, it also sounds as if Cameron is on the brink of honing the screenplays to the state where he can truly plunge into pre-production – so, every cloud. You can watch Horner’s full interview with Hey U Guys below.

News regarding the sequels to Avatar, which, as you’re probably all aware, is the highest grossing movie of all time, having taken in the preposterous sum of $2.7 billion at the box office back in 2009, has been dripping out in small doses over the last few years.

Cameron is believed to have co-written Avatar 2 with Josh Friedman, Avatar 3 with Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, and Avatar 4 with Shane Salerno. He has previously teased that the follow-ups will focus on the moons of Polyphemus, the ocean, and rainforests of Pandora, and the colonization of the planet 35 years earlier. At this point it’s hard to keep track of what plot goes into which film, so let’s just cross our fingers and toes that Cameron has been keeping tabs.

While I can’t help but be a tad pessimistic that audiences’ interest in an Avatar sequel will be quite as fervent when it’s finally released eight years after the original, Cameron has always had an innate ability to rejuvenate curiosity for sequels several years after the originals. 1986’s Aliens came seven years after Alien, and there was also a similar gap between The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Plus, it’s also safe to assume that, by this point, James Cameron kind of knows what he’s doing. Production on the Avatar sequels will hopefully begin by the end of the year ahead of Avatar 2’s scheduled December 2017 release date. The other films will then follow annually.

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