Thanks to New Zealand’s containment of COVID-19, James Cameron has been able to continue full speed ahead on his “Avatar” sequels. In fact, he’s almost done filming not just one, but two of them.
At the 2020 Austrian World Summit, Cameron sat down earlier this week for a remote one-on-one with his “Terminator” compatriot, Arnold Schwarzenegger, where he discussed the progress he’s made on his plans to turn his 2009 sci-fi box office record-breaker into a five-film saga.
“The day we deliver ‘Avatar 2,’ we’ll just start working on finishing ‘Avatar 3,'” Cameron said. “So where we are right now, I’m down in New Zealand shooting. We’re shooting the remainder of the live-action. We’ve got about 10% left to go. We’re 100% complete on Avatar 2, and we’re sort of 95% complete on Avatar 3.”
Filming for “Avatar 2” had to stop briefly due to the pandemic, but the film became one of the first major Hollywood projects to resume production thanks to strong containment efforts by the New Zealand government. But the pandemic is also going to give Cameron more time than expected to finish “Avatar 2,” as it was delayed to release in December 2022, with “Avatar 3” set for release the following year.
Cameron and his team have divulged little about what the “Avatar” saga will bring, though it is known that the film will explore new areas of Pandora and that it will be set many years after the first film with a new generation of both Na’vi and humans.
The film’s original cast will return, including Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, Stephen Lang and Matt Gerald, with Sigourney Weaver playing a new character after her original role, Grace, was killed off. The sequel will also see Cameron reunite with “Titanic” star Kate Winslet, who joins the cast with Edie Falco, Michelle Yeoh and Vin Diesel.
Watch Cameron and Schwarzenegger’s discussion in the clip above.