Restrictions Lifted in New Zealand Mean Avatar 2 Can Resume Production
According to a recent piece in Deadline, Avatar 2 is now resuming production as New Zealand’s health and safety production protocols have been lifted.
The New Zealand Film Commission confirmed to Deadline that some film and TV shoots are already underway. This is great news for film buffs as both James Cameron’s Avatar film which is currently being shot there is free to resume production.
Cameron was filming some live-action elements of the film just before COVID-19 resulted in an industry-wide shutdown. Unable to film in New Zealand, the report says that Cameron and crew have been working on the films virtual production/visual effects in California.
From the set of the sequels: @JimCameron directing the actors before they dive underwater for performance capture.
Fun fact: That layer of white on the water's surface is comprised of floating balls that prevent lights from interfering with filming underwater. pic.twitter.com/dOBwS6qOXF
— Avatar (@officialavatar) May 6, 2020
As we previously reported here at MickeyBlog, the Twitter account for Avatar has started updating content more regularly. This includes some incredible concept art as well as the shots about of Cameron directing the actors in a water tank.
Production on the hotly anticipated sequels began all the way back in 2017 and Avater 2 through Avatar 5 are said to have a combined budget of more than $1 billion. The sequel Avatar 2 is slated to be released on December 17, 2021. Subsequent sequels will alternate years to accommodate upcoming Star Wars releases. Avatar 3 will be released in December 2023 and Avatar 4 in December 2025 and Avatar 5 in December 2027.
New Zealand’s lockdown has been slowly lifted over the past few weeks. Next week it is expected that these will be eased further with gatherings of up to 100 people to be allowed. The country has reported only 1,139 cases of COVID-19 and 21 deaths due to swift measures to contain the outbreak.
Domestic travel and office work is also expected to resume in the country this week. However, the country has restricted international travel so film teams may need to wait a while longer before flying into the country.
The first sequel will be released in 2021 and is expected to be titled Avatar: The Way of Water. The project has been on the cards since the original Avatar was released a decade ago and has been recently bumped back due to production delays. We can confirm that both Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang are returning as are Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington.
We also know that Kate Winslet, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement and Michelle Yeoh are also involved. Vin Diesel has also suggested his involvement in the project but no further details have been released.
Avatar 2 is scheduled to premiere on December 17, 2021.
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