Shooting of ‘Avatar’ sequels to resume in 2 weeks

James Cameron and Jon Landau arrive in New Zealand to resume shooting of Avatar sequels. (Instagram pic)

WELLINGTON: James Cameron’s team has arrived in New Zealand to resume shooting of “Avatar 2,” “Avatar 3” and part of “Avatar 4,” following a suspension lasting almost three months, according to an Instagram post from the producer of the saga.

At last some good news for the film industry. Via a snapshot posted on Instagram on Sunday, May 31, fans of “Avatar” learned that shooting of future films in the saga will shortly resume.

Producer Jon Landau shared a shot of himself alongside James Cameron, in which both men are wearing masks and visors and announced that they would shortly be going into quarantine.

Variety reports that 54 people were on board a 13-hour specially chartered Air New Zealand flight, which left Los Angeles for Wellington on Friday.

The news has been welcomed as a sign that the film industry will soon be back at work in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, however, shooting is not set to officially resume for two weeks during which the new arrivals will voluntarily self-isolate in quarantine.

Although New Zealand’s borders are still officially closed, James Cameron’s team has been given a green light to return to the country on the basis of a provision that allows foreigners to travel there for reasons of “significant economic value,” reports Variety.

The “Avatar” sequels will likely be some of the first films to take advantage of health and safety production protocols established by the government of New Zealand in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The second, third and half of the fourth film of the Avatar franchise are to be filmed in studios in Wellington and Auckland.

The films are due to release in theatres in 2021, 2023 and 2025, and there is a fifth movie on the way for 2027.

Shooting for the “Avatar” sequels was suspended in mid-March when New Zealand went into lockdown and closed its borders to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Producer Jon Landau already announced that the production teams would soon be back at work via an Instagram post on May 21.