James Cameron announces complete filming of ‘Avatar 2’; production delayed by pandemic

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James Cameron has confirmed that Avatar 2 has finally finished shooting, after production faced delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to long-time collaborator Arnold Schwarzenegger in a video call promoting the 2020 Austrian World Summit environmental conference, Cameron said the process was ‘a hundred percent’ complete, and said they’re even almost there with the Avatar 3, too.

Cameron, who is still in New Zealand filming the third instalment, said: “Covid hit us like it hit everybody… 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 ten percent left to go.

“We’re a hundred percent complete on Avatar 2 and we’re sort of ninety five percent complete on Avatar 3.”

Cameron said he felt ‘very lucky’ that he’d chosen New Zealand as the film’s production site years back, adding: “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 2 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 road blocks to us getting the picture finished.”

The first follow-up to Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster was originally supposed to be released in 2014, but due to the sheer size of the project it’s taken much longer than first expected.

A more realistic release date of 21 December 2021 seemed doable until the pandemic struck, meaning Disney decided to push things back a year to 17 December 2022.

A letter Cameron issued to fans in July. Credit: James Cameron/Instagram

The third film, meanwhile, is due to hit cinemas on 20 December 2024.

And once Cameron finishes the next two Avatar films, he won’t be able to just put his feet up and chill out for a bit.

Nope, once he’s done with those, he’ll be moving straight on to filming Avatar 4 and Avatar 5, which are due to premiere on 18 December 2026 and 22 December 2028, respectively… Well, so long as there are no more delays, of course.