More than two months ago, Avatar 2 was forced to suspend production due to the coronavirus pandemic, putting yet another release date in jeopardy. Fortunately, Oscar-winning producer Jon Landau took to Instagram this week to announce that filming will resume next week in New Zealand.
James Cameron is directing the sci-fi sequel, and the self-proclaimed “King of the World” is used to being the only person on set who calls “cut,” so when COVID-19 did that for him, I can’t imagine he was too pleased. If I know Jim like I think I do, these past two months haven’t been a vacation for him. I’m sure he’s been hard at work, using the time to make the movie better, and make his cast and crew feel safer upon their return to set.
New Zealand’s government is allowing film and television production to resume, having developed sufficient safety protocols designed to prevent the spread of the virus, which never quite took hold of that country like it did the United States. As Hollywood figures out how to resume local production, Avatar 2 becomes the first major studio movie to get up and running again since it’s filming overseas. It’s possible that other studios could move their productions to New Zealand to get a jump on production, provided there are sound stages available.
Sam Worthington returns to star alongside Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore and CCH Pounder, and they’ll be joined by franchise newcomers Kate Winslet, Jemaine Clement, Cliff Curtis, Oona Chaplin, Edie Falco, David Thewlis, Michelle Yeoh and Vin Diesel.