James Cameron Returns to Avatar Sequels Set in New Zealand After Coronavirus Shutdown
The Avatar sequels are back in production as New Zealand has zero active coronavirus cases
(Safely) back to business!
The Avatar sequels are in production again in New Zealand three months after they were forced to shut down due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Producer Jon Landau posted a photo from the set showing the very first shot since they resumed production. The crew was able to return to set following a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period.
"Used my iPhone to snap a picture of our first shot back in production on the Avatar sequels," Landau wrote next to the shot, which shows director James Cameron behind a long camera crane.
The shot shows the crew is taking the virus seriously, with everyone seen wearing either face shields or masks.
The crew was able to resume production on the sequels as New Zealand reports zero active cases of the virus. The country was able to effectively contain the virus fairly quickly, with only 1,504 cases and just 22 deaths. New Zealand has a population of around 4.8 million.
Landau previously shared a photo of him and Cameron arriving in New Zealand wearing masks and face shields, saying, "Our 14-day government supervised self-isolation now begins."
Earlier in May, Deadline reported that film and TV production could resume filming in New Zealand, as the country had approved new health and safety production protocols.
The four Avatar sequels had halted filming due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Visual effects on the films continued to be worked on amid the filming delay, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The outlet reported the four announced sequels, which are all being shot at the same time, are budgeted at around $1 billion.
The first Avatar sequel is still slated for a December 2021 release. Three more sequels are expected to follow in 2023, 2025 and 2027.