Fresh off yesterday's news that Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) has been hired to write Avatar 2, director James Cameron has brought on writers for Avatar 3 and Avatar 4, with all three movies to be shot simultaneously starting next year.

Shane Salerno (Savages) has been hired to write one of the sequels, with the Rise of the Planet of the Apes writing team of Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver set to draft the other follow-up. Avatar 2 is slated for release in December 2016, with Avatar 3 and Avatar 4 to follow in December 2017 and December 2018. James Cameron will develop and co-write the scripts for each of the sequels with these new writers, and produce alongside longtime partner Jon Landau.

Here's what James Cameron had to say about bringing these writers on board.

"Building upon the world we created with Avatar has been a rare and incredibly rewarding experience. In writing the new films, I've come to realize that Avatar's world, story and characters have become even richer than I anticipated, and it became apparent that two films would not be enough to capture everything I wanted to put on screen. And to help me continue to expand this universe, I'm pleased to bring aboard Amanda, Rick, Shane and Josh - all writers I've long admired -­ to join me in completing the films screenplays."

20th Century Fox CEO Jim Gianopulos also released the following statement.

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"We at the studio have no higher priority, and can feel no greater joy, than enabling Jim to continue and expand his vision of the world of Avatar. The growing breadth and scale of Jim Cameron's plans for his magnificent fantasy worlds continue to amaze us all."

Avatar stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana are expected to reprise their roles in the sequels, but no other cast members have been announced.