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Zoe Saldana as Neytri and Sam Worthington as Jake Sully in Avatar (2009)

The global health crisis has led to a number of high-profile productions being put on hold over the past several months. This includes the long-awaited Avatar 2, which was set to continue work in New Zealand before plans changed. However, producer Jon Landau has been keeping movie buffs up to date on the film’s production status and recently confirmed that shooting would begin soon. Well, things are finally kicking off, as the crew has now arrived in New Zealand.

John Landau posted a photo to his Instagram page that showed both he and director James Cameron after landing in New Zealand. In the pics, the two are also sporting masks and helmets but seem ready to get back to work. You can check out Landau’s pic for yourself:

Although things appear to be starting back up again for Avatar, it should be mentioned that the film won’t start shooting immediately. New Zealand’s government-enforced, 14-day self-isolation protocol is still in place, meaning that filming probably won’t start until the middle of the month. Nevertheless, this is a significant step for a film that was already having a rough road to the big screen.

Last year, James Cameron confirmed that the motion capture work for both Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 had been completed. With this, the work in New Zealand revolves around the remaining live-action footage that still needs to be shot.

Even though live-action, principal photography had to be put on the back burner, post-production duties on Avatar 2 were still able to continue. This includes work with the visual effects companies and beginning the early stages of cutting the film in the editing room.

James Cameron has expressed disappointment with the fact that things had to shut down on the live-action side, as he would honestly prefer to be on set. And with everything he and his team have planned for these films (from a technological standpoint) you can imagine that he would be eager to get back to get back into the field. He did, however, express gratitude in the fact that New Zealand has been taking thorough measures in making sure that production could continue.

Actual plot details on Avatar 2, or any of the sequels for that matter, are currently being kept tight under wraps. Thanks to John Landau, what we do know is that Jake and Neytiri – who have now started a family – will be forced to leave their home and explore different regions of Pandora.

There’s no doubt that Avatar 2 just took a major step forward and, with so little left to shoot, production should be completed fairly soon. With this, the cast and crew can only hope they won’t experience any further setbacks. Avatar 2 is still set to arrive in theaters on December 17, 2021.

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