James Cameron says filming on ‘Avatar 2’ is complete and ‘Avatar 3’ is “95 per cent” finished.
The 66-year-old filmmaker lost around “four-and-a-half months of production” due to the coronavirus pandemic, but he has resumed shooting on the third film in the franchise in New Zealand recently, and the motion picture is nearly complete.
Speaking in a Zoom video call with Arnold Schwarzenegger ahead of the 2020 Austrian World Summit, he said: “Covid hit us like it hit everybody. It hit us hard. We lost about four-and-a-half months of production.
“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’.
“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 per cent left to go. We’re 100 per cent complete on ‘Avatar 2’, and we’re sort of 95 per cent complete on ‘Avatar 3’.”
Cameron admitted the crew are able to “have a more or less normal life” while working on the film in New Zealand, amid the coronavirus pandemic, because the country has dealt with the outbreak so well.
He added: “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.
“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.”
The second movie in the sci-fi franchise will focus on characters Jake Sully and Neytiri – played by Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana respectively – and it is set 12 years after the original 2009 film.