At this point, it might be more interesting if James Cameron’s Avatar sequels never come to fruition — like maybe this is his most elaborate project of all, a practical joke that spans years or even decades. That doesn’t seem to be the case, as Cameron’s ambitious plans have only grown more so, swelling to four sequels that he plans to release, well, eventually. Movie magic takes time, people. But for now, Cameron has some new plot details to support the bold claim that he’s making three more installments in the franchise.

It’s been seven years since Avatar hit theaters, and since then Cameron has made increasingly ambitious promises about the future of the franchise. A couple of sequels ballooned to four, and there have been repeated release date changes — presumably because filmmaking technology is improving all the time, and when it comes to Pandora, only the best tech will do. At this rate, these movies might never happen unless people stop making advances in CG.

At any rate, Cameron spoke with Variety about his plans for the sequels, describing them as a “family saga” — not unlike the Fast & Furious franchise. Somewhere, Vin Diesel suddenly became alert at the distant mention of family, a sound to which his ears have been finely attuned to receive, like that frequency only dogs can hear:

The storyline in the sequels really follows Jake and Neytiri and their children. It’s more of a family saga about the struggle with the humans.

So basically it’s a continuation of the battle between humans and Na’vi from the first film, but this time Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana have a kid.

As of now, Fox plans to release the three sequels in 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023, a schedule that forces you to meditate on your own mortality and the fleeting passage of time more than the actual Avatar movie ever could. But Cameron says those release dates, which have already been delayed a few times, are still subject to change:

We haven’t moved that target yet, but we will if we need to. The important thing for me is not when the first one comes out but the cadence of the release pattern. If it’s an annual appointment to show up at Christmas, I want to make sure that we’re able to fulfill on that promise.

You know, the same way he’s delivered on all of his promises about Avatar since 2009.

More From AM 1490 WDBQ