Sigourney Weaver's Dr. Grace Augustine was killed in the 2009 blockbuster, but the actress has been hired to star in the upcoming sequels. "Sigourney and I have a long creative history, dating back to 1985 when we made Aliens," director James Cameron said in a statement. "We're good friends who've always worked well together, so it just feels right that she's coming back for the Avatar sequels."
"Her character of Grace Augustine, as fans know, died in the first movie, so she's playing a different and in many ways more challenging character in the upcoming films," he added. "We're both looking forward to this new creative challenge, the latest chapter in our long and continuing collaboration."
During a May 2014 Today appearance, Saldana said she had recently been in touch with Cameron regarding the highly anticipated sequels. "He's finishing up the scripts," the Rosemary's Baby star said, "and as soon he's done, then we're going to get the call and we're going to get back to prepping."
The as-yet-untitled Avatar sequels will begin production later this year and will be filmed back-to-back. The first sequel will be released in December 2016, with the final two films debuting in 2017 and 2018.
Avatar is the top-grossing film of all time at the box office, earning $2.8 billion since its 2009 release.
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