Avatar 2 Resumes Production in New Zealand

Avatar 2 has returned to production in New Zealand after shutting down—along with every other film and TV production, more or less—due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Producer Jon Landau, a longtime collaborator with director James Cameron, shared some details with RNZ about re-starting production:

“We feel very comfortable because of the actions of your government and also the responsibility the people took to really curb the virus there. So we feel we’re coming back to the safest place in the world possible thanks to a team of people that we’ve worked with. We believe we have a very thoughtful, detailed, and diligent safety plan that will keep everybody as safe as possible in these unprecedented times.”

Landau went on to praise the team in New Zealand that’s helping Cameron and the massive Avatar crew get back to work:

“The calibre of talent that New Zealand has and the artisans who are bringing the world of Pandora to life at a higher level and higher quality than one could ever imagine. It’s one of there reasons that we’re so thankful that we started the production there and thankful that we’re coming back. We don’t need the locations of New Zealand to make our movie. We need the people, the talented crew, craftsmen, and technicians who work on the film.”

As for the film itself, Landau hinted that we’ll be seeing a lot more Pandora this time around. He also mentioned as any good producer would, that this film might be the perfect entertainment for when we’re all able to rejoin the world, post-pandemic:

“This is the story of the Sully family and what one does to keep their family together. Jake and Neytiri have a family in this movie, they are forced to leave their home, they go out and explore the different regions of Pandora, including spending quite a bit of time on the water, around the water, in the water. I think, why do people turn to entertainment today, more so than ever? I think it’s to escape, to escape the world we’re in, to escape the other pressures they have in their lives. I think with Avatar, we have an opportunity to allow people to escape to an incredible world with incredible characters that they will follow, in much the same way as Peter Jackson was able to do with Lord of the Rings, so that’s what we’re looking forward to doing.”

The sequels to Cameron’s 2009 Avatar have been a long time coming, but with Avatar 2 back in production, it seems we’re actually getting close to re-visiting Pandora.

Featured image: Concept art for James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ sequels. Courtesy 20th Century Fox/Walt Disney Studios


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The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.