When not engaging in some vitriolic exchanges on social media with Patty Jenkins regarding the film “Wonder Woman” starring Gal Gadot, acclaimed director James Cameron is busying himself with the long-awaited sequel to his 2009 sci-fi epic “Avatar.” Some work is already being done at the main shooting location of Manhattan Beach, California, with the movie slated for a 2020 release. Cameron has also made some great casting choices of young actors and actresses to portray the next generation of characters among the alien Na’vi people, including children of Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana).

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But the latest bombshell comes from the news that Kate Winslet, who starred in Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster “Titanic,” also has a role in the upcoming film.

Renewed team-up

As the award-winning historical disaster and romantic film “Titanic” celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year, it seemed fitting that its director and one of its stars should collaborate anew for old times’ sake.

What better way then, for James Cameron and Kate Winslet to work together once more, than for the British actress to be included in the filmmaker’s most recent pet franchise? “Avatar 2” is the second in a planned four sequels to Cameron’s original live-action/CGI blockbuster, and it appears to be setting the franchise up as a generational saga of sorts.

In an interview with Deadline, Cameron remarked on how long he has been waiting to get a chance to do another movie with Winslet after “Titanic,” which he considered a highlight of his career as a director. He has already cast the actress in a role, of which not much has yet been revealed save for the name. “I can’t wait to see her bring the character of Ronal to life,” says Cameron. Prior to “Avatar 2” Winslet has a starring role alongside Idris Elba in the romance-survival movie “The Mountain Between Us” which premieres Friday, October 6.

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Return from the dead

James Cameron’s sequel “Avatar 2” brings back lead stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana as the unlikely couple of a human-turned-Na’vi and a native-born Na’vi warrior, as they continue to protect the nature-filled world of Pandora from outside threats. In addition to newcomer Kate Winslet, several actors whose characters died in the original 2009 movie have been cast to reprise their roles. Among these are Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang, who played main antagonist Colonel Quaritch. Lang has intimated that not only is Quaritch returning from having been killed but will serve as the franchise villain, serving as a recurring antagonist in all four sequels.

Cameron’s “Avatar 2” will be released in December 2020. The third film, simultaneously undergoing principal photography with the current installment, will premiere the year after, in 2021.