The first sequel to the 2009 movie is scheduled for release in December 2016

Actors Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana have officially signed up for all three Avatar sequels.

Information on the plot details are being kept under wraps, but The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Worthington and Saldana’s characters Jake Sully and Neytiri have children in the new films. Interestingly, Stephen Lang, whose character Colonel Quaritch died in the original 2009 movie, has also signed up for the sequels.

Director James Cameron recently compared his forthcoming Avatar sequels to The Godfather. Cameron will shoot all three of the follow-up films to his sci-fi blockbuster smash in New Zealand. According to the Associated Press, the filmmaker has revealed that the new films will focus on lead character Jake, who is played by Sam Worthington, and his new life on the planet Pandora.

“We spread it around quite a bit more as we go forward,” he said. “It’s really the story of his family, the family that he creates on Pandora. His extended family. So think of it as a family saga like The Godfather.” He added: “There’s a fair bit of underwater stuff. Its been inaccurately said that the second film takes place underwater. That’s not true. There are underwater scenes and surface-water scenes having to do with indigenous ocean cultures that are distributed across the three films.”

Released in 2009, Cameron’s Avatar became the highest-grossing movie of all-time, a title it still holds, with worldwide box office takings exceeding $2.7 billion (£1.7 billion). The first sequel is scheduled for release in December 2016 with the third and fourth films set to follow in 2017 and 2018.