James Cameron's $1B 'Avatar' sequels begin shooting: Meet the new cast members

New <i>Avatar</i> cast pose at Pandora:€“ The World of Avatar attraction in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. L-R: Britain Dalton (Lo’ak of the Sully Family), Filip Geljo (Aonung of the Metkayina Clan), Jamie Flatters (Neteyam of the Sully Family), Bailey Bass (Tsireya of the Metkayina Clan), Trinity Bliss (Tuktirey of the Sully Family), Jack Champion (Javier ‘Spider’ Socorro), and Duane Evans Jr (Rotxo of the Metkayina Clan).(Photo Credit: Sheryl Nields/20th Century Fox)

It looks like Pandora is going to be a little more crowded when the Avatar film franchise returns to movie screens starting in 2020. On Monday, James Cameron officially (finally!) started shooting the long-in-the-works sequels to his 2009 record-toppling blockbuster, which will introduce a host of new characters into an alien ecosystem that’s rich with Na’vi warriors and unobtanium. Upon its release eight years ago, Avatar became the all-time box-office chart until a little movie called Star Wars: The Force Awakens came along.

But the Terminator director is going to have four — count ’em four chances to reclaim the No. 1 spot. Cameron is filming a quartet of Avatar films at a cost of $1 billion at his production facility in Manhattan Beach, Calif. “Avatar 2 and 3 will be captured together and then [go through postproduction] sequentially,” he explained in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “Then we go back and capture 4 and 5. They’re all written and they’re all designed, so we literally hit the ground running the day after Avatar 3 comes out, starting capture on 4 and 5 and then post on those and release those. That’s the plan.” (In that same interview, Cameron stood by his controversial statements about Patty Jenkins’s summertime hit, Wonder Woman. “As much as I applaud Patty directing the film and Hollywood, uh, “letting” a woman direct a major action franchise, I didn’t think there was anything groundbreaking in Wonder Woman. I thought it was a good film. Period.”)

The next-generation <i>Avatar</i> cast: (L-R) Duane Evans Jr (Rotxo of the Metkayina Clan), Britain Dalton (Lo’ak of the Sully Family), Filip Geljo (Aonung of the Metkayina Clan), Trinity Bliss (Tuktirey of the Sully Family), Bailey Bass (Tsireya of the Metkayina Clan), Jack Champion (Javier ‘Spider’ Socorro), and Jamie Flatters (Neteyam of the Sully Family, standing). (Photo Credit: Sheryl Nields/20th Century Fox)

Original Avatar stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana are going to have some company during their long stay on Pandora. Today, 20th Century Fox revealed the next generation of the planet’s inhabitants, starting with Jake and Neytiri’s own children, Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), Lo’ak (Britain Dalton) and Tuktirey (Trinity Bliss). While the Sully family lives it up in the lush Pandora forests, another Na’vi tribe, the Metkayina Clan, swims in its oceans. These aquatic aliens include free-diver Tsireya (Bailey Bass), and hunters Aonung (Filip Geljo) and Rotxo (Duane Evans Jr.). Last, but not least is an honest-to-Eywa human: Javier “Spider” Socorro (Jack Champion), who grew up among the Earth colonists at Hell’s Gate, but vastly enjoys the woods to those concrete surroundings. With all these young faces around, by the time the last Avatar film hits theaters in 2025, the franchise will almost be Cameron’s version of Boyhood.

Cut ‘n’ save the release dates for the Avatar sequels:

  • Avatar 2, Dec. 18, 2020

  • Avatar 3, Dec. 17, 2021

  • Avatar 4, Dec. 20, 2024

  • Avatar 5, Dec. 19, 2025

Watch: Linda Hamilton reteaming with James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger for Terminator reboot:

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