Sigourney Weaver Returning for "Avatar" Sequels as a Different Character

By Zach Johnson
|  Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014  |  Updated 10:32 AM CDT
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Sigourney Weaver attends the 2013 Golden Heart Awards Gala on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 in New York.

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Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang and Sam Worthington aren't the only actors returning for more "Avatar."

Sigourney Weaver's character 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."

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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.

(E! and Today are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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