The coronavirus has officially impacted the production of the long in development Avatar sequels, as filming in New Zealand has halted, as reported by The New Zealand Herald.
According to the site, visual effects will continue to be worked on there, while the filmmakers consider relocating production to Los Angeles. Producer Jon Landau was scheduled to fly into New Zealand last week for the production which was set to resume filming in April. Instead, Landau and crew will remain in Los Angeles until further notice.
Visual effects work on the Avatar sequels is being done in New Zealand by Peter Jackson’s company, Weta Digital. Landau and the filmmaking team will continue to work with Weta during this time to try and get as many visual effects completed as possible.
Work on the first sequel was expected to be completed by the end of 2020 for a release date of December 17, 2021. A total of four films are being worked on back-to-back and the other time frames given included Avatar 3 in December 2023, Avatar 4 in December 2025, and Avatar 5 in December 2027. The Avatar films are produced by James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and 21st Century Studios.
Avatar 2 is set to star Kate Winslet (Titanic), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Michelle Yeoh (Last Christmas), Vin Diesel (Fast and the Furious), Oona Chaplin (Game of Thrones), Sam Worthington (Clash of the Titans), Zoe Saldana (Avengers: Endgame), Joel David Moore (Dodgeball), Dileep Rao (Inception), Stephen Lang (Don’t Breathe), Matt Gerald (Rampage), Jemaine Clement (Moana), and Sigourney Weaver (Alien).
You can stream the first Avatar film on Disney+ today.
Source: The New Zealand Herald