With its staggering $2.7 billion(!) worldwide haul, we all knew it was just a matter of time before we heard something concrete on a follow-up to 'Avatar', and according to Variety, it seems that the filmmaker and Fox would like to get rolling sooner rather than later. Oh, and a Part 3 is definitely on the way as well.

The as-yet-untitled 'Avatar' sequels are expected to arrive in December of 2014 and 2015, respectively, although Mr. Cameron hasn't decided on whether or not he'll be shooting the films together. (Fox would probably prefer it that way.) Production is expected to begin about a year from now, with Cameron and his creative team spending the next several months crafting the stories. The director told Variety the following: "In the second and third films, which will be self-contained stories that also fulfill a greater story arc, we will not back off the throttle of 'Avatar's' visual and emotional horsepower, and will continue to explore its themes and characters, which touched the hearts of audiences in all cultures around the world."

No word yet on plot possibilities (though Cameron has previously noted that part two would focus on the oceans of Pandora) or on which actors may be returning (Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana are a given), but there's little denying that 'Avatar' is poised to become one of the most popular film franchises of all time. So let the fan-friendly speculation -- and the typically derisive backlash -- officially commence!