Cliff Curtis lands lead role in James Cameron's Avatar sequels

Cliff Curtis will take on the role of Tonowari, a reef clan leader, in the new Avatar sequels.

Cliff Curtis has landed a lead role in all four of the upcoming Avatar sequels.

In the follow-ups to James Cameron's 2009 sci-fi hit, which told of the Na'vi people and their lush alien world of Pandora, the New Zealand-born actor will play Tonowari, according to Deadline.

As future instalments of Avatar are expected to take place underwater, it is believed that the character of Tonowari is the leader of the Metkayina, a clan of reef people.

Curtis will join returning Avatar cast members Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang in the films, with the new movies set to start filming at Stone Street Studios in Wellington, New Zealand next year (18).

The 48-year-old first rose to fame in 1993 when he appeared in Jane Campion's Oscar-winning film The Piano. He has since gone on to appear in movies such as Once Were Warriors, Blow, Training Day, Live Free or Die Hard, Risen and The Last Airbender. He has also had several TV roles, including parts on Missing, Body of Proof and post-apocalyptic drama Fear the Walking Dead, in which he plays Travis Manawa.

It is understood that Curtis will continue starring in Fear the Walking Dead, and will schedule his commitments to the show around filming for Avatar.

It has taken a long time for Cameron to get going on filming the sequels for Avatar, which remains the highest grossing film at the worldwide box office with takings of $2.79 billion (£2.15 billion).

After many launch date changes, the first of the four sequels is due for release on 18 December, 2020, with the other movies to follow during the Christmas seasons of 2021, 2024 and 2025.

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