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Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington sign on for three more 'Avatar' movies

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"Avatar" stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana have signed on for three more "Avatar" movies. According to an article published by The Hollywood Reporter on Jan. 14, 2014, Worthington (who plays Jake Scully) and Saldana (who plays Neytiri) have joined Stephen Lang (who plays Colonel Quaritch) to be among the actors from the original "Avatar" cast to sign up for the sequels, which are due out in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

All three of the movies will be filmed back-to-back. The first "Avatar" sequel begins filming in October 2014. Just as with the first "Avatar" movie, the plots of the "Avatar" sequels are being kept confidential, but The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Scully and Neytiri, who fell in love and became a couple in the first "Avatar" movie, will have children in the sequels. Lang's Colonel Quaritch died in the first "Avatar" movie, so his role will likely be written as flashbacks for the sequels.

"Avatar" writer/director/producer James Cameron will have the same roles for the "Avatar" sequels. Cameron will also be working with screenwriters Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Shane Salerno on the sequels.

20th Century Fox's "Avatar," which was released in 2009, is the highest-grossing movie of all time, surpassing previous record holder "Titanic." According to Box Office Mojo, "Avatar" grossed $2.8 billion worldwide, with $760.5 million of that total coming from the U.S. and Canada. "Avatar" won three Academy Awards: Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction.

Cameron commented to The Hollywood Reporter about Worthington and Saldana signing on for the "Avatar" sequels: "Jake Sully is a rare combination of passion, strength, street smarts and soul, which requires a lot from an actor. Sam brought to the role a combination of sensitivity, vulnerability and strength. Zoe captured every aspect of the character I envisioned, bringing to Neytiri a mix of delicacy, fierceness and incredible physicality. I am beyond pleased they'll be returning with us to Pandora."

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