James Cameron, ‘Avatar’ producer talk trilogy’s ‘long journey’

(CBR) It”s been a long, often quiet road back to Pandora – but for the filmmakers involved in the “Avatar” franchise, the journey has only just begun.

Variety has a lengthy profile of 20th Century Fox”s Jim Gianopulos, which includes updates on the upcoming “Avatar” sequels from both Gianopulos and director James Cameron.

“We know it”s going to be a long journey,” Gianopulos says of the three-film plan for more “Avatar” movies, with rumors pegging the production budget at $1 billion. “We know it”s not going to be cheap. We know it”s not going to be without new discoveries and new challenges in the process of producing something that is so beyond the normal form of filmmaking and technology, but what could be more exciting than that.”

For his part, Cameron says the “Avatar” series contains everything he”s interested in as a storyteller.

“There”s nothing I need to say as an artist about the state of the world and human affairs that I can”t do through the lens of the 'Avatar' universe,” he says. “We”ve had a couple of years to think through the story arc of the next three films, and every day that goes by, I believe in the stories I”m telling more and more. We”re not coming out of the block fast to capitalize on the last film.”

The first of three new “Avatar” films arrives in December 2016.