All we can do is take James Cameron at his word. He simply has greater access to the behind-the-scenes workings of his planned mega-franchise Avatar, so he’s the only one providing new updates; we can choose whether to believe him or not. He’s duped us before, though. It feels like there have already been so many start-stops, deadlines blown long before they even arrived, and other assorted snafus. All of this is to say that when James Cameron announces he’s finally begun photography on his much-touted quartet of Avatar sequels, we can’t help but think that that’s just what he wants us to think.

But that’s what Deadline is saying, anyhow. Cameron reportedly began production Monday morning on the four follow-ups to Avatar that the famously ambitious filmmaker plans on shooting in direct succession to one another. (They’re geared for releases in 2020, 2021, 2024, and 2025. Imagine it: Earth making it to 2025!) Operating out of Manhattan Beach, he’s begun work on what will be the largest film production both in terms of scope and of resources.

The most mind-boggling tidbit from Deadline’s item is that Cameron has one billion dollars at his disposal to complete the franchise. God only knows how these movies will actually turn out, but let nobody say that Cameron and parent studio Fox didn’t throw enough money at the problem. (Starting with an acting coach for star Sam Worthington?) If you can purchase a blockbuster payday, this will be the film to prove it.

More From 103.3 WJOD