Following on from yesterday's confirmation about the New Zealand-based filming of James Cameron's $415 million+ new "Avatar" trilogy, more details about the three sequels have come to light via further reports from that press conference announcement.
Cameron spoke a bit about the story, saying it will explore different Na'vi cultures as well the cultures of other Pandora creatures. The first film was all about Sam Worthington's Jake Sully character and told the story through his eyes. With the new ones though:
"We spread it around quite a bit more as we go forward. It’s really the story of his family, the family that he creates on Pandora. His extended family. So think of it as a family saga like The Godfather."
Plans for the settings of the films have changed. At last report the second film was going to be a mostly underwater-set tale, and subsequent movies would take us off planet. The former idea has been overstated, and the latter now appears to be gone altogether:
"There's a fair bit of underwater stuff. Its been inaccurately said that the second film takes place underwater. That's not true. There are underwater scenes and surface-water scenes having to do with indigenous ocean cultures that are distributed across the three films.
It’s going to be a lot of new imagery and a lot of new environments and creatures across Pandora. We’re blowing it out all over the place. At first I thought I was going to take it onto other worlds as well, in the same solar system, but it turned out not to be necessary. I mean the Pandora that we have imagined will be a fantasy land that is going to occupy people for decades to come, the way I see it."
Cameron says his core team has been developing new software for the sequels, even while he's been gone on other projects such as last year's ocean descent. There's also a short video of the announcement below: