Staggering budget for James Cameron’s Avatar sequels revealed; films to cost more than 7500 crore

James Cameron’s Avatar sequels, which were in production in New Zealand before the coronavirus pandemic, will cost more than $1 billion ( 7500 crore).
Sam Worthington in a still from Avatar.
Sam Worthington in a still from Avatar.
Updated on May 13, 2020 11:25 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By

New Zealand has lifted lockdown measures preventing films and television shows from shooting. James Cameron’s Avatar sequels, which were in production in New Zealand, can now resume filming. Deadline reports that the combined budget for the films is over $1 billion ( 7500 crore).

Earlier this year, release dates were announced for each film: Avatar 2 on December 17, 2021; Avatar 3 in December 2023; Avatar 4 in December 2025; and Avatar 5 in December 2027. Cameron has said that he hopes for the second film to meet its release date, despite the unexpected delay.

 

“It’s putting a major crimp in our stride here,” the filmmaker told Empire magazine. “I want to get back to work on Avatar, which right now we’re not allowed to do under state emergency laws or rules. So it’s all on hold right now. We were about to shoot down in New Zealand, so that got pushed. We’re trying to get back to it as quick as we can.”

“On the bright side, New Zealand seems to have been very effective in controlling the virus and their goal is not mitigation, but eradication, which they believe that they can do with aggressive contact tracing and testing,” he explained. “So there’s a very good chance that our shoot might be delayed a couple of months, but we can still do it. So that’s good news.”

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The filmmaker corroborated Deadline’s report that visual effects work on the film is continuing. “We’ve got everybody – everybody at Weta Digital and Lightstorm – working from home to the extent that that is possible,” he said. “But my work is on the stage doing the virtual cameras and so on, so I can do a bit of editing, but it’s not great for me.”

On May 6, the official Avatar Twitter account shared set pictures of Cameron interacting with actors, before they filmed underwater performance capture sequences in a large tank. The first Avatar maintained its position as the highest-grossing film in history for 10 years, before being eclipsed by Avengers: Endgame in 2019.

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