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'Avatar' movie sequel to resume production in New Zealand



Los Angeles, United States  /  Sat, May 23, 2020  /  06:01 pm
'Avatar' movie sequel to resume production in New Zealand

Director James Cameron arrives at the premiere of 'Avatar' at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, California on December 16, 2009. (AFP/Robyn Beck)

A sequel to James Cameron's sci-fi movie blockbuster Avatar will go back into production next week for the first time since it was shuttered by worldwide efforts to contain the coronavirus, producer Jon Landau said on Friday.

Film and TV production came to halt around the globe in mid-March but is slowly returning in some countries including New Zealand, where the Avatar sequel is being filmed.

"Our #Avatar sets are ready — and we couldn’t be more excited to be headed back to New Zealand next week," Landau wrote on Instagram beneath a photo of two boats on the set. Landau identified them as the Matador, a high-speed forward command vessel, and the Picador, a jetboat.

Authorities in New Zealand, where coronavirus slowed dramatically after the government enforced a strict lockdown, have approved film industry safeguards for resuming productions. Each set needs a permit to bring people back to work.

Read also: Michelle Yeoh signs on for ‘Avatar’ sequels

Released in 2009, Avatar had been the highest-grossing movie of all time until July 2019 when it was overtaken by superhero flick Avengers: Endgame.

Cameron has been working on Avatar sequels for years and their release has been delayed several times. The second installment is scheduled to debut in December 2021, followed by three others in December 2023, December 2025 and December 2027.

The Avatar sequels will be distributed by Walt Disney Co , which took over the franchise when it bought film and TV businesses from 21st Century Fox in 2019. 

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