New Zealand Returns To Production, Avatar Sequels & ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Series To Resume Filming

New Zealand appears to have a firm hold on the COVID-19 situation, like Saturday, May 9 marks the first day the island country has reported no new cases. According to Deadline, some TV and film productions “are already safely underway,” as confirmed to the outlet by the New Zealand Film Commission.

James Cameron’s “Avatar 2” and “Avatar 3” could soon resume production, as well as Amazon’s mammoth “Lord of the Rings” series. In a world where quarantine shutdowns have brought film and television production to a screeching halt, New Zealand’s health protocols now enable sets to get back to work, albeit with safety guidelines.

“Avatar” director James Cameron and producer Jon Landau were in production on the first two of the four planned “Avatar” sequels when filming was suspended in the middle of March. Production has reportedly managed to continue virtually in California in collaboration with Weta Digital to create the film’s costly special effects. Production on the sequels is said to total more than $1 billion.

Cameron, who had stated in 2006 that he would like to make sequels to Avatar if it was successful, announced the first two in 2010 following the widespread success of the first film, with Avatar 2 aiming for a 2014 release. However, the subsequent addition of three more sequels, and the necessity to develop new technology in order to film performance capture scenes underwater, a feat never accomplished before in motion capture history, led to significant delays to allow the crew more time to work on the writing, pre-production, and visual effects; it is currently planned for a release on December 17, 2021, with the following three sequels to be released, respectively, on December 22, 2023, December 19, 2025, and December 17, 2027.

Avatar Sequels Behind the Scenes

Director: James Cameron
Release Date: 17 December 2021 -USA

VFX Done by:
Weta Digital -VFX Supervisors: Chris White, Wayne Stables

Watch Avatar VFX breakdown by Weta Digital

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