Coronavirus is still a very serious issue in much of the world, but one place that seems to have things under control is New Zealand. This has allowed the island nation to start to get back to work in many ways, and that includes film production. Several weeks ago it was announced that the Avatar sequels, which have been filming there, would be getting underway soon, and after a two week quarantine period to make sure that everybody traveling from other countries was safe, filming has now resumed.
Avatar franchise producer Jon Landau made the announcement of the resumption of filming via Instagram with a picture that, due to the nature of Avatar really doesn't show us very much, but it's still cool to see things getting underway.
The restart of production isn't without controversy. Politicians in New Zealand have argued that the film production is being given special treatment by allowing the filmmakers back into the country while travel is still very limited.
The image is nothing but a lot of blue screens and James Cameron sitting in a chair, but really, until the digital effects work is done, that's practically all that an Avatar movie actually is. It's essentially impossible to even guess what it is we're looking at, which is likely why Jon Landau didn't mind showing off this picture. You can't have spoilers if your picture is just a bunch of cameras and screens.
The next two Avatar movies are currently being filmed simultaneously. Avatar 2 is scheduled for release in 2021 and part three will come out in 2023. Because the release dates are so far out, it seems unlikely that these dates will change, they've changed so many times before. Of course, with the current release date reshuffling still not being entirely done, it's possible Avatar could get pushed to make room for other films that had to be delayed.
It would almost be fitting if that happened. Once upon a time we were expecting the first Avatar sequel in 2014. Of course, back then we were only expecting a couple more movies. Although, even after we knew we were getting four more films, the first release date Avatar 2 was given was two years ago. We would be getting ready for the release of Avatar 3 this December if that had actually happened. Of course, under the circumstances i suppose that movie probably would have been delayed.
Instead, we're a year and half away from the next chapter of the franchise. The first Avatar was, once upon a time, the highest grossing movie ever made, and while it has since lost that record to Avengers: Endgame, the franchise is still expected to be a power house when it returns to theaters. Even if the sequels don't compete to be the top box office movie ever, they're virtually guaranteed to be massive successes in their own right.