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Director James Cameron. Photo: AP

James Cameron reveals ‘Avatar 2’ is complete, praises New Zealand’s Covid-19 response

  • He said the pandemic meant the films lost four or five months of production
  • The director hailed the country’s response to the outbreak, saying we’re able to have more or less a normal life here
New Zealand

James Cameron has given fans an update on the Avatar sequels during a chat with none other than the Terminator.

Speaking from New Zealand, Cameron joined Arnold Schwarzenegger for the 2020 Austrian World Summit. While the actor and director mostly spoke about veganism and environmental issues, Schwarzenegger sneaked in a question about the Avatar sequels.

The pair also spoke about New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and how the pandemic had affected the production of the Avatar sequels – and Cameron revealed the second Avatar film is complete.

“I know you’re in the middle of shooting Avatar, I know you had to get up now to do this interview because of the time change in New Zealand and all that stuff, tell me, is there anything that we should know? When is the movie coming out in the theatres, what’s going on there?”, Schwarzenegger asked.

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“Covid hit us like it hit everybody, it hit us hard,” Cameron said. He said the pandemic meant the films lost four or five months of production.

“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 per cent left to go. We’re 100 per cent complete on Avatar 2, and we’re sort of 95 per cent on Avatar 3.”

Cameron also praised New Zealand’s Covid-19 response: “We’re very lucky in that we chose this as our production site years ago, we made the first film here in New Zealand. It turns out to be the first or second-best country in the world for its Covid response.”

Concept art for the new ‘Avatar’ movies now filming in New Zealand. Photo: Twitter

“We’re able to shoot, we’re able to operate, and we’re able to have more or less a normal life here. We were very fortunate, so I don’t see any roadblocks to us getting the picture finished.”

The Avatar sequels have been met with repeated delays. The highly-anticipated sequel to 2009 epic is scheduled for release in December 2022.

In July, Cameron posted a message on the official Avatar account announcing the pandemic had pushed back the release, originally scheduled for December 2021.

Cameron and his crew for the sci-fi blockbuster was granted special border exemptions to resume filming in Wellington in June.