Avatar director James Cameron has revealed that Avatar 3 is “95% complete”.
He also revealed that the second film in the franchise has just completed filming on location in New Zealand.
As with almost every film on the planet, production on Avatar 2 was significantly delayed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but officially resumed production in June as New Zealand ended its lockdown.
The sequel to the 2010 Oscar-winning epic is being shot alongside third, fourth and fifth instalments in the sci-fi fantasy series. Its initial December 2021 release date has been pushed back a year exactly due to the pandemic. Avatar 3, Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 are expected to follow in December 2024, December 2026 and December 2028 respectively.
Speaking in a Zoom interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger for the 2020 Austrian World Summit, Cameron spoke of progress on the series of movies.
“COVID hit us like it hit everybody… We lost about four and a half months of production,” he said. “As a result of that, we’ve rolled around one more full year for a release in December of 2022. That’s been announced already.
“Now that doesn’t mean I have an extra year to finish the film, because the day we deliver Avatar 2 we’ll just start working on finishing Avatar 3,” the director added.
“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.”
“We made the first film here in New Zealand, and it’s ranked either first or second best country in the world for its COVID response – sometimes Germany’s in the number one spot, sometimes New Zealand’s in the number one spot,” he added.
“But we’re actually able to operate. We’re at level two here right now, but we’re able to operate, we’re able to shoot, and we’re able to have a more or less normal life here. ‘We’re very fortunate, so I don’t see any roadblocks to us getting the picture finished.”
Back in 2018, all the titles for the Avatar sequels were announced – Avatar 3 is set to be called Avatar: The Seed Bearer, while the second film in the franchise, due out in December 2022, is called Avatar: The Way of Water.