Some movies and TV productions will be able to resume again shortly. New Zealand recently had a new set of health and safety protocols approved by the government, which has paved the way for major projects such as Avatar 2 and The Lord of the Rings TV show to begin filming again. Though, it will ultimately depend on Disney and Amazon to decide if they are ready to return to set.
According to a new report, several movie and TV productions are already underway again in New Zealand. Filming was shut down across the country in mid-March in the interest of public health and has been on pause ever since. The New Zealand Film Commission says all productions will need to register with Screensafe, which outlines the health and safety guidelines that have been approved. This will also help the government agency WorkSafe in monitoring things as filming begins to pick up again. New Zealand Film Commission CEO Annabelle Sheehan had this to say about it in a statement.
"The NZFC's focus and commitment since the industry hiatus, has been the health and safety of all those who work in the New Zealand film industry and the ongoing sustainability of the wider screen sector. We are heartened and grateful for the hard work and partnership of the guilds who have worked to get this document completed so quickly."
Recently, the Czech Republic revealed that filming is resuming in the country again as well. It remains to be seen how filming in these countries, in the long term, will go. Can new health and safety guidelines keep actors and crew members safe? Currently, Hollywood is wrestling with larger questions that need to be answered before productions can resume on a mass scale. While major studios are still trying to figure out how best to proceed, sets will be very different than they used to be, that much is certain.
With that in mind, Disney and Amazon may not be so eager to jump right away in getting Avatar 2, as well as the other Avatar sequels, and the big-budget Lord of the Rings TV Show back up and running. These companies will need to figure out what level of risk they are willing to take on, and what liability they may have to assume if something were to happen to a member of the cast or crew. Disney CEO Bob Chapek recently indicated that the company doesn't know when they will be able to resume major productions safely.
James Cameron's Avatar 2, one of four planned sequels to the 2009 sci-fi blockbuster, has been in the works for years and is currently slated to arrive in theaters on December 17, 2021, with the further sequels dated through December 2027. Amazon's Lord of the Rings series, meanwhile, is said to be a very expensive undertaking and already has a multi-season commitment. J.A. Bayona (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) is directing the first two episodes. This news comes to us via Deadline.