The Avatar sequels no one is entirely sure anyone wants are nearly done. In fact, one of them is actually done, with shooting at least. After being delayed for years and then delayed again thanks to COVID-19, director James Cameron has confirmed that he’s finally finished filming Avatar 2 and is almost entirely done with Avatar 3. The two films were being filmed at the same time in New Zealand.
“The day we deliver Avatar 2, we’ll just start working on finishing Avatar 3,” Cameron told Arnold Schwarzenegger during an interview at the 2020 Austrian World Summit. “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 10% left to go. We’re 100% complete on Avatar 2, and we’re sort of 95% complete on Avatar 3.”
The films currently have plenty of time to go through post-production as they’re slated for Dec. 16, 2022 and Dec. 20, 2024 respectively. Though with COVID-19 still impacting the industry, who knows what could happen as already completed films delay further and further into 2021? Cameron already had to delay production of the films after New Zealand shut down to stem the pandemic in the country. They have since reopened to filming on a provisional basis with the Avatar films being some of the first to return to shooting.
The second film’s plot hasn’t been officially released, but it will focus on opening up the world of Pandora, with early concept art showing off a lot of water and sea creatures. The story will continue following Jake and Neytiri as they grow their family and are forced to leave their home for some reason. Water apparently plays an important role in the second film, according to the film’s producer, Jon Landau.
It’s been over 10 years since the first Avatar movie landed and destroyed all box office records. The movie, however, left very little cultural impact, and the success of these sequels (and the subsequent Avatar 4 and 5) is still up in the air. Disney, who acquired the franchise when it purchased Fox, sees a major franchise on its hands, and James Cameron rarely ever releases a dud. However, the excitement around these films seems muted.