It’s official: Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana will reprise their roles of Jake Sully and Neytiri for the next three Avatar sequels.
Though long speculated this was to be the case, 20th Century Fox officially confirmed the news today.
In a statement, director James Cameron has said of the pair returning to the films:
“Jake Sully is 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. Zoë captured every aspect of the character I envisioned, bringing to Neytiri a mix of delicacy, fierceness and incredible physicality. I am beyond pleased they¹ll be returning with us to Pandora.”
Avatar follows the story of Jake Sully (Worthington), a wheelchair-bound US marine who is able to travel to Pandora, a moon planet which is populated by the indigenous Na’vi. There he meets Neytiri (Saldana), and after falling in love with her, helps her fight against the humans who are threating the existence of the Na’vi by mining a precious mineral from their homeland.
Filming on the sequels (as yet unnamed) is set to take place later this year, with all three being filmed back-to-back. Avatar 2 is due to be released in December 2016, with Avatar 3 and 4 following in 2017 and 2018.