Avatar 2 is getting back on track. The highly-anticipated sequel, as well as its other planned entires, were filming in New Zealand ahead of the shutdown that took place in mid-March. Ever since, it's been a hurry up and wait situation. But now, producer Jon Landau has revealed that filming will resume again next week, while also sharing a new set photo that reveals a couple of new ships from the movie.
Taking to Instagram, Jon Landau shared an overhead shot of a couple of massive set pieces that have been built for the follow-up to James Cameron's 2009 sci-fi blockbuster. One ship, the Matador, is described as a command vessel, while the other, the Picador, is described as a jetboat. But most importantly, Landau confirmed that production will resume very soon. Here's what he had to say.
"Our #Avatar sets are ready, and we couldn't be more excited to be headed back to New Zealand next week. Check out the Matador, a high speed forward command vessel (bottom) and the Picador jetboat (top), can't wait to share more."
This is significant as it is one of the first Hollywood blockbusters to get back up and running following the shutdown. James Cameron spent years developing the scripts for the sequels. The plan is to turn this into a five-movie franchise. Before live-action filming began, Cameron spent months doing complex motion capture work with the cast. Much of Avatar 2 will take place underwater and to capture the filmmaker's vision, which took a lot of creativity and technological innovation. This has been glimpsed in several behind-the-scenes photos that have been shared during production so far.
As far as filming goes, New Zealand has handled the situation at hand admirably and has managed to get a hold on things to the point that the country has been able to return to normalcy, or at least a semblance of it. The country has put strict guidelines in place for movie and TV productions that will be filming in the country to help ensure that things remain safe. Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang are all returning to reprise their roles from the original. New cast members joining the franchise include Kate Winslet, David Thewlis, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Oona Chaplin, Edie Falco and Cliff Curtis.
Up until last year, Avatar was the highest-grossing movie of all time, taking in a staggering $2.74 billion at the global box office. Avengers: Endgame narrowly surpassed it with $2.8 billion. Avatar 2 is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on December 17, 2021. James Cameron had previously indicated that they are still aiming for that date and don't anticipate a delay. The other four planned sequels are dated to be released through December 2027. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. Be sure to check out the new set photo from Jon Landau's Instagram.