The much-anticipated sequel to the 2009 epic science fiction film Avatar has been in the works for about a decade.
And now, despite production being shut in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and release dates being pushed back eight times, comes the welcome news from filmmaker James Cameron that live-action filming is ‘100 % complete’.
Cameron made the big reveal during an interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger, which included more welcomed news about the third installment in the franchise that’s being shot simultaneously in New Zealand.
Talking to Schwarzenegger ahead of the 2020 Austrian World Summit environmental conference, Cameron first addressed the impact that the coronavirus crisis has had on the filming process that started back in August 2017 in California.
‘We lost about four-and-a-half months of production. As a result of that we rolled [the premiere date] around one more full year for a release in December of 2022.’
It was at this point the legendary writer and director, 66, announced that live-action filming for Avatar 2 was finished and ‘95% complete on Avatar 3’.
Even with the all the hardships due to the pandemic, Cameron acknowledged he and his crew were lucky to have chosen New Zealand as their production site many years ago, considering it has ranked first or second in the world for its COVID-19 response.
‘We are able to operate. we’re able to shoot, and we’re able to more or less have a normal life here right now,’ he said to Schwarzenegger, who has starred in three of Cameron’s films: The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and True Lies (1994).
‘So we’re very fortunate. So I don’t see any roadblocks to use getting the picture finished — getting both pictures finished.’
Avatar 2 is said to take place 12 years after the events of the first movie, following Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) as he continues to roam the planet of Pandora with the new family he has with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana).
It also stars Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, Edie Falco, Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Oona Chaplin, Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis.
In the wake of those eight theatrical release date changes, Avatar 2 is currently slated to premiere on December 16, 2022 and Avatar 3 on December 20, 2024.
a group of people standing in a room: More welcome news: Cameron also announced that Avatar 3 is ‘95% complete’© Provided by Daily Mail More welcome news: Cameron also announced that Avatar 3 is ‘95% complete’
There’s also plans for two more sequels that have release dates of December 18, 2026 and December 22, 2028, respectively, although Cameron has stated that they wouldn’t be made if Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 don’t make any money.
The original 2009 film became the highest-grossing movie of all time, raking-in $2.79 billion worldwide on a $237 million budget.
a person standing in front of a mountain: Massive: The original 2009 film became the highest-grossing movie of all time, raking-in $2.79 billion on a $237 million budget; that record was broken in 2019 by Avengers: Endgame© Provided by Daily Mail Massive: The original 2009 film became the highest-grossing movie of all time, raking-in $2.79 billion on a $237 million budget; that record was broken in 2019 by Avengers: Endgame
That record was broken last year when Avengers: Endgame grossed $2.797 billion at the worldwide box office.