Producer Jon Landau shared a shot from production showing off a look from the forthcoming sequel, which will be the first of four for the record-setting motion picture.
‘Our #Avatar sets are ready – and we couldn’t be more excited to be headed back to New Zealand next week,’ he wrote on the social media site. ‘Check out the Matador, a high speed forward command vessel (bottom) and the Picador jetboat (top) – can’t wait to share more.’
The latest: Production on the Avatar sequel is set to reopen in New Zealand after shutting down in March due to the coronavirus, producer Jon Landau said Thursday
Filmmakers are still targeting the second sequel’s planned release date of December 17, 2021 in spite of progress lost after they had to close up shop two months ago as countries around the globe adopted different strategies to battle the novel virus.
Director James Cameron, 65, told Empire earlier this month that he and the crew were looking to pick up the pace upon their return to the set after the lockdown put ‘a major crimp in [their] stride.’
Cameron, who was back at his home in the luxe locale of Malibu, California, said that the production schedule for New Zealand was delayed amid the shutdown, and that he and his colleagues were ‘trying to get back to it as quick as we can.’
He said that to their advantage, ‘New Zealand seems to have been very effective in controlling the virus and their goal is not mitigation, but eradication, which they believe that they can do with aggressive contact tracing and testing.’
Back again: The character Neytiri, played by Zoe Saldana, will be in the next film
Playing catch-up: Director James Cameron, 65, told Empire earlier this month that he and the crew were looking to pick up the pace upon their return to the set after the lockdown put ‘a major crimp in [their] stride’
Cameron said that even with the missed time, progress was still made on the film with some crew members able to work from home on digital effects.
‘We’ve got everybody – everybody at Weta Digital and Lightstorm – working from home to the extent that that is possible,’ he said. ‘There’s a very good chance that our shoot might be delayed a couple of months, but we can still do it. So that’s good news.’
He said that he was hampered attempting to do his job in the director’s chair in working in line with the restrictions.
‘My work is on the stage doing the virtual cameras and so on, so I can do a bit of editing, but it’s not great for me.’
The sequel will reunite Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana, who headlined its 2009 release with a then-record $2.790 billion internationally. Avengers: Endgame surpassed that total last year with $2.797 billion.
A look back: Landau addressed fans on social media at the start of the lockdown
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