Zoe Saldana almost turned down Guardians of the Galaxy role

The actress is gearing up to film the Avatar sequels later this year.

Zoe Saldana was reluctant to star in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise because she didn't want to be typecast.

Coming off roles in the Star Trek and Avatar franchises, she feared playing an alien in another sci-fi movie would be a big mistake, but director James Gunn convinced her to take on the role of Gamora, and she's glad she made the leap of faith.

"The geek in me is really dancing inside," she tells BBC.com. "I feel very happy. This is something that I could have only dreamed of doing and I have James Gunn to thank for that.

"He wrote an amazing script in the first instalment. He called me and he really asked me to be a part of it and I was reluctant because I had done already two science fiction franchises and I was thinking about my career, silly me. And I almost passed on a great opportunity to work with amazing people and collaborate with an amazing director."

The sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy hits cinemas on next month (May17), as Zoe prepares to return to James Cameron's Pandora for the follow-ups to Avatar, which will start shooting back-to-back this summer (17).

The director announced there would be four Avatar sequels, instead of the previously planned three, at CinemaCon last year (16). The movies will be filmed simultaneously and the first sequel will be released on 18 December, 2020, with Avatar 3 slated for a 17 December, 2021 release, while Avatar 4 and 5 will be in cinemas on 20 December, 2024 and 19 December, 2025, respectively.

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