Avatar writer and director  James Cameron has promised movie fans four sequels, instead of the three they were expecting and have been waiting for.

Fox plans to release the first of the sequels at the end of 2018, with the others in 2020, 2022 and 2023, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Cameron made a surpise  guest appearance at Fox’s CinemaCon in Las Vegas on Thursday.

The filmmaker told The Hollywood reporter

“We began to bump up against the limitations for our art form,” he said, explaining that he needed more instalments to tell the whole story.

“I’ve been working the last couple of years with a team of four top screenwriters,” he said, “to design the world of Avatar going forward: the characters, the creatures, the environment, the new cultures.

“So far, the art I’m seeing is, in pure imagination, really far beyond the first film,” he added. “It’s going to be a true epic saga.”

Can these new films beat the originals record box office takings of £1.98bn worldwide?

Only time will tell…