James Cameron has returned to New Zealand to resume filming the long-anticipated Avatar sequels — but first the Oscar-winning director must enter a 14-day government supervised quarantine.
On Sunday, producer Jon Landau shared a photo of him and Cameron arriving in the country after a 13-hour direct flight, saying, "Our 14-day government supervised self-isolation now begins."
The two are seen wearing masks and visors in the photo.
Earlier in May, Deadline reported that film and TV production could resume filming in New Zealand, as the country had approved new health and safety production protocols.
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New Zealand has been praised for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, with only 1,497 reported cases and 21 deaths. The country has a population of around 4.8 million.
The four Avatar sequels had halted filming due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Visual effects on the films continued to be worked on amid the filming delay, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The outlet reported the four announced sequels, which are all being shot at the same time, are budgeted at around $1 billion.
The first Avatar sequel is still slated for a December 2021 release. Three more sequels are expected to follow in 2023, 2025 and 2027.
Landau previously confirmed to The New Zealand Herald that production had shut down in March, saying, "We’re in the midst of a global crisis and this is not about the film industry. I think everybody needs to do now whatever we can do, as we say here, to flatten the [coronavirus] curve."
In the meantime, the official Avatar Twitter account has been sharing behind-the-scenes shots of the actors and Cameron on set. The most recent showed the process for filming underwater.
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