Classic fan-favorite (and multiple Oscar-nominated) starlet Sigourney Weaver will return to theaters this month in the action flick, Abduction, and will co-headline the thriller Red Lights next year. However, most everyone really wants to know about two of the actress’ (theoretical) upcoming franchise sequels: Avatar 2 and the perennially-delayed Ghostbusters 3.

James Cameron is expected to shoot Avatar 2 and 3 back-to-back, beginning in 2012; meanwhile, Dan Aykroyd has been talking of late about Ghostbusters 3 starting production next spring, with or without Bill Murray. But will Weaver be involved with either project?

On the Avatar front, it seems the answer is “definitely,” as unexpected as that may be (more on that in a moment). The third Ghostbusters flick, however, remains more of a wild card – given that Weaver still isn’t certain it’s actually going to happen (Aykroyd’s claims to the contrary).

Avatar 2

Sigourney Weaver and Sam Worthington in ‘Avatar’

Weaver has dropped hints in the past that her onscreen alter ego – futuristic xenobotanist Dr. Grace Augustine – could return in Avatar 2… despite her having (spoiler?) died in the first film. That’s not a problem, Weaver says.

Here’s the direct quote (via Coming Soon) from Weaver on the Avatar sequel:

“Don’t worry, I will be back. [James Cameron] says no one ever dies in science fiction. He’s told me the stories for the next two movies and I have to say that they’re absolutely wonderful and there’s a real treat in store. Now we just have to make them.”

Anticipation for a return to the exotic world of Pandora remains quite high, especially given the promise that future Avatar sequels will take moviegoers to different regions of the world (including the ocean). Weaver’s return would be welcome as well – even if, right now, it’s kind of difficult to imagine how that will be possible (the power of retconning aside).

Cameron’s involvement also assures these films will be just as technically-brilliant and proficient as the original Avatar – not to mention, possibly more innovative on a narrative level as well, now that the tone and style of this sci-fi franchise has been firmly established. Think of the increasingly complex storyline and nuanced character development in The Empire Strikes Back – when compared to the original Star Wars movie, A New Hope – and you’ll get our meaning.

Ghostbusters 3

Sigourney Weaver as (possessed) Dana Barrett in ‘Ghostbusters’

Dan Aykroyd has been promising that the start of production on Ghostbusters 3 is right around the corner, for years now – hence why the latest buzz around the project should definitely be taken with a healthy helping of salt. Weaver’s comments on the matter do nothing but support that suggestion.

The actress has the following to say (again, via Coming Soon), on the matter of Ghostbusters 3:

“I have yet to read the script. I’ve had a couple of calls and I know they’re rewriting and all I said was that I hope my son, Oscar, has grown up to be a Ghostbuster and [director] Ivan Reitman said yes. Beyond that, I have no idea. I hope it comes together, but we already did two wonderful films and, if we have to let this one go, that’s fine.”

Weaver also mentioned this bit to Cinema Blend:

“Well I guess Peter Venkman [Bill Murray’s character] is dead [in ‘Ghostbusters 3′]. Dana without… I guess his spectre always was with her, whether she liked it or not.”

It’s not clear whether Weaver was merely responding to Aykroyd’s indications that Murray might not be in the third Ghostbusters flick – or if she was just reiterating the rumors she’d heard about the film’s script, from a few years back.

One thing should be obvious, though – until you see an actual report from us that Ghostbusters 3 is officially beginning production, don’t start holding your breath for the movie to actually happen just yet.

Avatar 2 is tentatively slated to reach theaters by December 2014, followed by Avatar 3 in December 2015.

We will keep you posted on the status of Ghostbusters 3 as more information is released.

Source: Sigourney Weaver (via Coming Soon and Cinema Blend)