Avatar sequels halt production in New Zealand over coronavirus concerns

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

In what has been the move for almost all productions currently shooting as the coronavirus scare worsens, the AVATAR sequels become the latest films to halt production. The sequels were currently filming in New Zealand.

Producer Jon Landau confirmed the news via the "New Zealand Herald." Landau stated that there will be a delay to a block of filming that was slated to take place at Wellington's Stone Street Studios in April. Weta Digital will continue to work on visual effects on the films in the meantime.

Landau told the "Herald" that he could not provide an answer as to when production in New Zealand would resume but they are re-assessing the production schedule. The focus will now be on getting as many minutes of VFX work to Weta Digital to complete.

The AVATAR sequels are the latest international shoots that have had to suspend production due to the coronavirus pandemic. Amazon's television adaptation of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, which is also being shot in New Zealand, has also been put on hold while the shooting on Baz Luhrmann’s untitled Elvis biopic was also halted after Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson tested positive for COVID-19. The virus is not only shuttering overseas productions as the list of film & TV projects that have had to stop shooting in the states continues to grow.

Work on the long-delayed sequels to 2009's AVATAR was expected to be completed by the end of 2020 with work on a total of four films being done simultaneously. It's not completely clear if this delay will change that timetable but I'm going to assume they're going to take a wait and see approach to this. As of now, AVATAR 2 has a release date of December 17, 2021, with the following three sequels to be released in December 2023, December 2025 and December 2027.

Another day, another production comes to an abrupt end due to the coronavirus. The uneasy thing about all of this is that we really don't know when things will go back to normal. I do know the industry is basically going dark at this point & it's a very distressing thing to see.

How long do YOU think productions will have to cease filming?

Source: New Zealand Herald

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