Following the temporary production suspension of the Avatar sequels due to the ongoing global pandemic, director James Cameron has finally opened up about the long-in development sequels’ filming delay in New Zealand. Speaking with Empire, the Oscar-winning filmmaker has expressed his frustration at not being able to continue production as planned, revealing that they are trying their best to get back on schedule especially with New Zealand recently releasing a new health and safety protocols that will now allow film and TV productions to resume.
“It’s putting a major crimp in our stride here. I wanna get back to work on Avatar, which right now we’re not allowed to do under state emergency laws or rules. So it’s all on hold right now.” Cameron said. “We were about to shoot down in New Zealand, so that got pushed. We’re trying to get back to it as quick as we can.”
However, despite the delay, Cameron is still very optimistic and confident that this setback won’t affect Avatar 2‘s December 2021 release date and that Weta’s digital work on the film is still moving forward while production is on hold. “On the bright side, New Zealand seems to have been very effective in controlling the virus and their goal is not mitigation, but eradication, which they believe that they can do with aggressive contact tracing and testing. So there’s a very good chance that our shoot might be delayed a couple of months, but we can still do it. So that’s good news.”
The cast of the Avatar franchise includes Kate Winslet, Edie Falco, Michelle Yeoh, Vin Diesel, Jemaine Clement, and Oona Chaplin alongside a slate of young actors. Returning cast members include Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, Stephen Lang, Matt Gerald, and Sigourney Weaver.
Cameron recently explained that Stephen Lang’s Colonel Miles Quaritch is coming back for all four sequels and will be the main villain throughout the story. Filming officially started on Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 on September 25, 2017.
After some shuffling of the schedule, Avatar 2 has been pushed back a full year from December 18, 2020, to December 17, 2021. Avatar 3 has been pushed back two years December 17, 2021 to December 22, 2023. Avatar 4 will open two years after that on December 19, 2025 (originally December 20, 2024) and Avatar 5 will drop on December 17, 2027 (originally December 19, 2025). Although Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 will only be released with director James Cameron’s caveat that Avatar 2 and 3 are successful at the box office.
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