Avatar first hit theaters in 2009, and while it wasn't the most original story, it had big ideas with effects that completely wowed audiences. The film was almost guaranteed a sequel, but the limits of our modern technology apparently just wasn't ready for what James Cameron's imagined. Fast forward to today, and suddenly we've got four Avatar sequels simultaneously in the works. It's been a long road, but according to Sigourney Weaver, James Cameron hasn't just been sitting around waiting, and has actually been shooting test material this whole time.
I think what he's been doing is trying to develop the technology. We're going to do all four simultaneously, so I think he's trying to make sure that he has really done all the groundwork so when he really starts these four we'll be able to hit the ground running. So I don't think he's actually... he IS experimenting. I don't know if any of that would end up in the movie 'cause it's not actually any of the story, but I'm sure he's trying to figure out how to photograph an animal in this situation, things like that, so on the day he doesn't have to waste time finding that out.
This test footage will most likely never be seen in the film because they hold no story relevance, but it's just further proof that Cameron and crew want to hit the ground running on these films. The purpose of doing test footage is so that they don't have to watch valuable film time figuring this all out on set. These next four films are going to be filmed simultaneously, so they really don't have much time to waste. If you were a big fan of Avatar, then these next few years are going to be very good for you.
Despite the finality of the fate of her character Dr. Grace Augustine in Avatar, Sigourney Weaver will be reprising her role in the next four sequels. She'd had the opportunity to look at some scripts already (three of the four!), so she has a fair amount of insider knowledge when it comes to this franchise. Weaver recently confirmed to Coming Soon that Cameron has been developing the technology needed for Avatar 2 and beyond, resulting in the long wait for the film.
20th Century Fox announced its intention to make four more Avatar films with James Cameron finally ready to get to filming. Avatar 2 is expected to hit theaters in December 2018, with more sequels following in December 2020, December 2022, and December 2023. The core principal cast is also returning, consisting of Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, and Sigourney Weaver.