The COVID-19 pandemic has put nearly all of the film industry to a screeching halt, as social distancing guidelines put a damper on productions that were in progress or set to begin. One of the upcoming blockbusters affected by that was Avatar 2, the long-awaited sequel to the billion-dollar blockbuster. According to a new report from one of the film's producers, Jon Landau, it won't take long for the film to resume production soon. Landau recently took to Instagram to show a behind-the-scenes photo from the film's set, while revealed that "we couldn't be more excited to be headed back to New Zealand next week".
Avatar director James Cameron spoke candidly about the pandemic delays in a recent interview, arguing earlier this month that they're trying to get production back up and running "as quick as [they] can."
“It's putting a major crimp in our stride here,” Cameron explained. “I want to get back to work on Avatar, which right now we're not allowed to do under state emergency laws or rules. So it's all on hold right now... We were about to shoot down in New Zealand, so that got pushed. We're trying to get back to it as quick as we can.”
“On the bright side, New Zealand seems to have been very effective in controlling the virus and their goal is not mitigation, but eradication, which they believe that they can do with aggressive contact tracing and testing,” Cameron continued. "So there's a very good chance that our shoot might be delayed a couple of months, but we can still do it. So that's good news. We've got everybody – everybody at Weta Digital and Lightstorm – working from home to the extent that that is possible,” Cameron added. “But my work is on the stage doing the virtual cameras and so on, so I can do a bit of editing, but it's not great for me.”
Avatar 2 will see the return of Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Giovanni Ribisi, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, CCH Pounder, and Matt Gerald. New cast members include Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Oona Chaplin, David Thewlis, Vin Diesel, and CJ Jones.
Avatar 2 will be released in theaters on December 17, 2021. If all goes according to plan, Avatar 3 will be released on December 22, 2023, Avatar 4 will be released on December 19, 2025, and Avatar 5 will be released on December 17, 2027.