The shooting of “Avatar 2” was postponed in March, even before the country issued its coronavirus lockdown.
Rabat – The second highest grossing film in the history of cinema is back with James Cameron directing the sequel, “Avatar 2,” in New Zealand after the country almost completely eradicated COVID-19.
Producers of Titanic and Avatar, Jon Landau and Cameron received a permit to enter New Zealand earlier this month despite the closure of its borders to prevent a major COVID-19 outbreak.
The filmmakers postponed the shooting of “Avatar 2” in March, even before New Zealand ordered a COVID-19 lockdown.
“The Wellington skies greeted us with a beautiful rainbow on our first day back at Stone Street Studio for prep on the Avatar sequels,” wrote Landau on Instagram earlier this week.
In an interview with One News, Landau said that “one of the great things about the film industry is that our spending is quite diversified. We don’t just spend money in one area. We spend money when we cater for 400 people a day – we go to the local market.”
The American producer revealed that his team will spend $70 million in the upcoming five months of shooting.
In April 2016, Cameron announced that there will be four Avatar sequels, released in 2021, 2023, 2025, and 2027.
The first “Avatar” hit theaters in 2009 and remains the most expensive movie in the history of cinema with a budget of $237 million.
The landscapes of New Zealand have served as popular shooting locations for several successful movies over the past two decades, such as “The Lord of the Rings” saga and related “The Hobbit” saga, as well as “The Last Samurai” and “Wolverine.”
After recording zero new cases for 20 consecutive days, the southern Pacific country declared on June 7 it had effectively halted the spread of COVID-19 within its borders.
“We are confident we have eliminated the transmission of the virus in New Zealand for now, but elimination is not a point in time, it is a sustained effort,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacina Ardern during a news conference the same day.
New Zealand has since identified three new cases, stemming from Kiwis who returned to their home country after becoming infected abroad. On June 17, Ardern ordered the country’s military to assume oversight of the isolation of new arrivals.