Filming on Avatar 2 is complete. Director James Cameron confirmed that filming of the live-action elements of the Avatar sequel is now 100-percent finished and filming on the live-action segments for Avatar 3 are nearing completion as well. Cameron shared the news with Arnold Schwarzenegger during the 2020 Austrian World Summit (via Cinemablend), revealing that only about ten percent of Avatar 3 remains to be filmed.
"The day we deliver Avatar 2, we'll just start working on finishing Avatar 3," Cameron said. "So, where we are right now, I'm down in New Zealand shooting. We're shooting the remainder of the live action. We've got about 10-percent left to go. We're 100-percent complete on Avatar 2, and we're sort of 95-percent complete on Avatar 3."
It has been a long road for the Avatar sequels and filming on both movies has been ongoing for a long time. Cameron confirmed in 2018 that filming for the principal cast had wrapped but there was other filming that needed to be done. Production on both Avatar 2 and 3 were among the first major Hollywood films to resume after the start of COVID-19 quarantines worldwide With filming taking place almost entirely in New Zealand, one of the countries with the most aggressive handling of the virus and among the first to safely re-open, cameras were able to roll again in May while some movies didn't resume until July or even August.
Of course, even with filming complete on Avatar 2 and near complete on Avatar 3, it will still be some time before they hit theaters. The Avatar sequels were delayed by Walt Disney Studios back in July following a series of release schedule reshuffling by the studio. The still untitled second film was originally slated to debut on December 17, 2021 but is now set to arrive on December 16, 2022, all the other films have shifted back one year as well, though it's still unconfirmed if Avatar 4 or 5 will happen as James Cameron has said previously.
"Let’s face it, if Avatar 2 and 3 don’t make enough money, there’s not going to be a 4 and 5," Cameron told Vanity Fair in 2017. "They’re fully encapsulated stories in and of themselves. It builds across the five films to a greater kind of meta-narrative, but they’re fully formed films in their own right, unlike, say, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, where you really just had to sort of go, 'Oh, s**t, all right, well I guess I better come back next year.' Even though that all worked, and everybody did."