New Avatar 2 Set Photo Shows James Cameron On The Pandora Base

Zoe Saldana in Avatar
(Image credit: (Fox))

James Cameron, the legendary filmmaker behind Titanic and the Terminator films, is currently turning his visions of Pandora into a reality over in New Zealand on the set of the Avatar sequels. His plans to continue the saga kicked off by the 2009 record-breaking box office blockbuster and Oscar winner have been in the works since 2010, but ironically enough, at a time when everything seems at a standstill, he is breaking ground on the projects. Check out Cameron amidst the massive Pandora Base set here:

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Whoa, now that’s a set! The official Avatar account showed off this awesome new image of James Cameron in the middle of the Pandora Base around a ton of plans, which look to be maps of the lab’s layout. Additionally, the set shared a wide shot of the lab set Cameron was in the middle of. It’s breathtaking. Here's another look:

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At first glance, it looks like a miniature of some kind, but if my eyes don’t deceive me, that’s to scale. An actual lab was created inside the confines of the New Zealand set and it is packed with set materials and equipment. Cameron is an advocate of advanced technologies in film, such as the cutting-edge motion capture Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana implement as their blue Na’vi characters, but he’s also an advocate for practical effects too. Both? Both are good.

Avatar 2 and 3 are being shot back-to-back, and the filmmaker also has plans to make fourth and fifth installments. Disney is reportedly giving James Cameron $1 billion to produce all four films, placing the budget for each movie on its own around $250 million. This would place each film at a comparable scale to J.J. AbramsStar Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and the upcoming James Bond flick No Time To Die.

Along with this awesome look at the Pandora Base, the production has also recently shared a new submarine model that was designed for the sequels called “The Crabsuit.” According to James Cameron, the next Avatar film will see Sully and Neytiri with a family. They are sadly forced to leave their home and explore more of Pandora together, with much of the film taking place underwater. Producer Jon Landau shared an awesome set photo of underwater shooting recently.

Although Avatar 2 is ahead of many other productions considering it's one of the few big-budget films that is physically on set right now, it was not immune to theatrical delays. It was delayed from December 2021 to December 16, 2022 last month due to the time lost. James Cameron explained the situation with these words:

Prior to the COVID-19, everything was on track to bring you the first sequel in December of 2021. Unfortunately, due to the impact that the pandemic has had out our schedule it is no longer possible for us to make that date. There is no one more disappointed about this delay than me. But I am buoyed by the incredible performances of our cast and the extraordinary work that Weta Digital is doing bringing the world of Pandora and the characters of the film to life.

After Avatar’s 2 release, the third film is expected on December 20, 2024, Avatar 4 will come on December 18, 2026 and Avatar 5 is expected for December 22, 2028. Along with the return of Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver, new additions to the cast include Michelle Yeoh, Kate Winslet, Vin Diesel and Edie Falco. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more developments on the Avatar franchise.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.