If you thought TV shows were getting pricey to produce, just wait until you find out how much Fox is dropping on James Cameron's four "Avatar" sequels: The four flicks will reportedly cost $1 billion to make.

Deadline reports that production has finally begun in California on the long-awaited sequels to 2009's "Avatar," the highest-grossing movie of all time worldwide. While plans for the follow-ups have been evolving for years, with release dates and the exact number of sequels changing more times than we can count, Cameron is apparently finally ready to turn his vision into a reality.

Of course, such lofty vision doesn't come without an equally lofty price tag, and studio Fox is betting big with a risky shoot that will see all four flicks film back to back to back to back. It's the first time in history such a consecutive shooting schedule has been employed with four films (Peter Jackson previously held the record with three, for his "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" movies), and according to Deadline, that $1 billion estimate is expected to rise well before the final frame is shot.

Cameron says he spent two solid years writing the sequel scripts, which returning star Sigourney Weaver praised as "even more amazing" than the first flick. With filming finally underway, it seems that fans will at last be able to judge that for themselves.

"Avatar 2" is currently slated to open on December 18, 2020, with "Avatar 3" opening on December 17, 2021, "Avatar 4" opening on December 20, 2024, and "Avatar 5" opening on December 19, 2025. We'll see if Cameron's high-profile production meets those ever-shifting deadlines.

[via: Deadline]