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Weta FX, the New Zealand-based visual effects house behind Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings series and James Cameron’s Avatar, has opened an office in Vancouver as part of a global expansion.
An initial 75 artists will fill the Vancouver facility, which opened its doors on Monday. The move follows tech firm Unity acquiring Jackson’s Weta Digital company for $1.625 billion in cash and stock in Nov. 2021. (Unity’s acquired company, the tech assets of Weta, operates as Weta Digital, while Jackson’s Weta visual effects business remains separate under the banner of Weta FX.)
Weta’s Canadian presence will be the company’s first VFX facility outside New Zealand and will complement an existing corporate office in Los Angeles. “The global growth in entertainment content has allowed us the flexibility to really pursue the projects we want and to expand our business model to tap into talent in more locations around the world,” Prem Akkaraju, CEO of Weta FX said in a statement.
The Canadian facility will work on an Avatar sequel, with the first to hit theaters in Dec. 2022. James Cameron and Jon Landau are currently working with Weta on the Avatar sequels.
Weta FX recently completed work on Warner Bros.’ The Batman and Marvel’s Moon Knight and Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Recent Weta work also includes VFX on Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals and Godzilla vs. Kong.
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