If there’s one thing the Avatar sequels didn’t need after a decade in development, it was further delays. But like most movies that were in active production when the coronavirus crisis hit, that’s exactly what they got when the outbreak forced the industry into a standstill. Luckily, James Cameron’s decision to shoot the films in New Zealand has really paid off, since the country’s response to the pandemic has been far more successful than most. Indeed, shooting on Avatar 2 and 3 has just resumed following the island nation’s return to post-COVID normality.
Photographic proof that the sequels are back on track has been released by producer Jon Landau, who’s posted a set pic from the latest shoot. Don’t expect any spoilers from the image, but if you want to see Cameron operating a hefty camera crane, you can check it out below.
Cameron is probably going to be working on Avatar movies for the rest of his career, as the Titanic filmmaker has been plotting four sequels to the 2009 original since it hit at the box office. Avatar 2 and 3 are in active development at the moment, with performance-capture photography having taken place for them in 2018. Last year, the production moved to New Zealand to begin work on the live-action shooting, which is now back underway following the COVID disruption.
Few plot details have been revealed about the upcoming Avatar sequels, although word has it that movie number two will explore the oceans of Pandora and follow a new generation of Na’vi. Returning cast members from the original include Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi and Sigourney Weaver, and they’ll be joined by series newcomers Kate Winslet, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement, David Thewlis and Michelle Yeoh.
Avatar 2 is scheduled to hit theaters on December 17th next year, more than a decade after its predecessor was released, and it certainly has a lot to live up to considering the first movie raked in well over $2 billion at the box office.