A few days ago, news broke that James Cameron and the cast and crew of Avatar 2 had arrived in New Zealand and entered into quarantine awaiting the local government's approval to restart filming the movie. It has now been reported by the country's 1 News media outlet that the film has been cleared for restarting production in New Zealand. The project's producer John Landau said that the cast and crew approached the exemption application responsibly and followed every quarantine rule.

"This one production alone is going to hire 400 New Zealanders to work on it. We're going to spend, in the next five months alone, over $70 million here. We submitted a formal letter to Minister (Phil) Twyford's office requesting permission to come down. We would have waited... a week to finally hear back that it looked like it was going to work."
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"The Wellington skies greeted us with a beautiful rainbow on our first day back at Stone Street Studio for prep on the Avatar sequels."

The New Zealand government has attracted some criticism for allowing the Avatar 2 production team to prematurely bypass border security rules in return for the economic gain that will result from a big Hollywood production setting up camp in the country for months to come.

While James Cameron can finally get back to making the sequel to the original Avatar that came out in 2009, things are not going to be back to normal for his crew. The lockdown and quarantine precautions are still very much in place, according to Landau, and the crew, which touched down in Wellington two-weeks-ago after being given an exemption to enter, are taking every precaution to prevent the spread of infection.

"No one left their rooms. We couldn't intermingle with each other, let alone go outside."

Avatar 2 takes forward the story of the planet Pandora that was revealed to the world in the original film, in which a colony of humanity's military-industrial complex arrived on the planet to mine its earth for the precious element 'Unobtanium'. Jake Sully, played by Sam Worthington, was placed in a body from the local population, known as the Na'vi, to win their trust and allow the humans to infiltrate and capture the populace.

Instead, Sully fell in love with one particular Na'vi, played by Zoe Saldana, and switched his allegiance over to the side of the aliens. The movie ended with Sully living on Pandora with his newly adopted people, while the humans are sent back to Earth.

What made the original Avatar the biggest blockbuster of all time was the breathtaking exploration of the world of Pandora using 3D viewing technologies. The upcoming sequel promises to reveal new vistas from Pandora in the shape of underwater colonies. James Cameron has gone to great lengths to portray these scenes convincingly, creating entire new filmmaking technologies for the underwater scenes and building giant elaborate sets for the same.

All of this has steadily ballooned the movie's budget, and additional delays in filming were adding to the project's financial woes. Thus, it is understandable that the makers of Avatar 2 would want to get back to work as quickly as possible, even at the risk of infection. This news comes from TVNZ.com

Neeraj Chand