Production Set to Restart on 'Avatar' Sequels in New Zealand

Avatar Still - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Producer Jon Landau on Thursday posted a message on Instagram that said the sets were ready and the team behind the film was heading back to the country "next week."

Production on James Cameron's long-in-the-making Avatar sequels is set to restart in New Zealand as soon as "next week," according to producer Jon Landau. 

Work on the Avatar sequels came to a halt in mid-March after the New Zealand government instituted a lockdown to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.

In a post Thursday on his personal Instagram, Landau showed off a picture of a vessel that will be featured in the upcoming films that was captioned: "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."

The long-delayed sequels to 2009's Avatar were due to be completed by the end of 2020, with work on a total of four films being done simultaneously. Currently, Avatar 2 has a release date of Dec. 17, 2021, with the follow-ups to be released in December 2023, December 2025 and December 2027.

In March, Landau confirmed to the New Zealand Herald that there would be a delay to a block of filming that was due to take place in Wellington's Stone Street Studios in April.

Wellington-based Weta Digital will continue to work on visual effects on the films, reportedly budgeted at NZ$1.65 billion ($1 billion).