By way of a video conference during the 2020 Austrian World Summit, Hollywood legend James Cameron confirmed that principal photography on Avatar 2 has wrapped, with Avatar 3 nearly “95%” complete.
Production on the epic sequels has been underway in New Zealand since at least 2018, when Cameron gave a similar update of the sequels’ finished shoots. Though this latest update would seem redundant in light of that older confirmation, the lengthy process of reshoots, and the shutdown of production due to the coronavirus pandemic have thrown a wrench in the large-scale production. Since the hiccups have hit, Disney has delayed the sequels, with Avatar 2 slated for December, 2022.
Cameron said the Avatar 3 production lost “about four and a half months” due to the pandemic lockdowns, but went on to praise the New Zealand government’s response. “We’re very lucky in that we chose this as our production site years ago,” having filmed the original Avatar there. Cameron goes on to mention the relatively-clear circumstances in New Zealand despite a mid-August flare-up, saying he see “any roadblocks to us getting the picture finished, getting both pictures finished.”
The video conference, a dialogue between Cameron and his old T-800 pal Arnold Schwarzenegger, is well worth a watch. Seeing two industry titans and, moreover, old friends in conversation is a fun respite from our daily woes, though it mostly isn’t talking movie-shop; the conversation touches upon Cameron’s environmentalism and the very present problem of climate change.
Cameron teases the actual content of his Avatar sequels, saying he wants to build the “mystery and the great reveal.” Currently, Avatar 2 is set for release December 16, 2022, with Avatar 3 coming December 20, 2024.