It’s been nearly eight years since James Cameron’s Avatar took the global box office by storm, and while it’s become très chic for some corners of the internet to endlessly bash Avatar, I still maintain my stubborn affection for Cameron’s movie. Very few filmmakers can create action-driven science-fiction that operates at Cameron’s level; just look at how many times people have messed up Cameron’s Terminator franchise, a near-flawless formula for blockbuster movies that studios have nevertheless run directly into the ground. We may laugh at Cameron’s planned sequels, but they are both original (technically!) and creator-driven movies. Isn’t that what we claim to want from Hollywood?

And after months of speculation and rumors, we finally have the official word on the Avatar sequels from the man himself. Earlier today, Avatar’s official Facebook page (via Deadline) announced the dates for the second, third, fourth, and fifth installments in the franchise: December 18, 2020; December 17, 2021; December 20, 2024; and December 19, 2025. Here’s the post, which includes a group photo of Cameron’s crew:

Believe it or not, this more-or-less follows the original plans that Cameron had laid out for his sequels. Back in 2013, Cameron announced that he had hired a group of writers  —  including Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Shane Salerno (Oliver Stone’s Savages), and the screenwriting team of Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes)  —  to work on the next three installments of the Avatar films, with those movies expected to be released over Christmas in 2016, 2017, and 2018. And while the studio clearly missed on those release dates  —  unless Avatar 2 opened a few months ago and we all made a deal not to talk about it  —  it would seem that Cameron’s vision for the franchise is playing out as he hoped.

So update your Google calendar, Avatar fans, because you now have December plans for four out of the next eight years. It’s ambitious, it’s ridiculous, and it’s probably going to get moved around a little bit, but it’s also quite possibly the late James Cameron-directed blockbusters we’re ever going to get  — after all,  the man will be 70 by the time he’s done with this franchise  —  so let’s strap ourselves in for four more trips to Pandora. Like I always say, it’s not like we’re so awash well-directed nine-figure sci-fi blockbusters these days that we can afford to turn Cameron away.

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