James Cameron, Avatar, Avatar 2, Avatar 3, New Zealand

Recently while speaking with Arnold Schwarzenegger for the 2020 Austrian World Summit, filmmaker James Cameron informed the Terminator star that he’s made significant progress on two sequels for his Avatar film series. “We’re 100% complete on Avatar 2 and sort of 95% complete on Avatar 3, Cameron revealed to the former Governator of California.

You can watch their discussion using the player posted below. The Avatar talk happens around the 9:30 mark:

During their talks, Cameron explained that Avatar took a hit to its production for “about four and a half months,” thanks to COVID-19. The director then added that the pandemic “hit us like it hit everybody, it hit us hard.” Unfortunately, the pandemic has pushed the release of Avatar 2 back to December 16, 2022, while Avatar 3 is now slated to arrive in theaters on December 20, 2023. Cameron also has two more Avatar films he’d like to share in theaters, which are expected to arrive in 2026 and 2028.

While the COVID-19 pandemic had thrown a wrench in the filmmaker’s best-laid plans, Cameron was quick to sing the praises of New Zealand’s management during the outbreak, saying, “We’re very lucky in that we chose this as our production site years ago. We made the first film here in New Zealand and it turns out to be ranked first or the second-best country in the world for its COVID response.”

Upon returning to New Zealand after their initial lockdown period was complete, Cameron and producer Jon Landau were given 55 crew members to continue work on their Avatar sequels. In talking to Schwarzenegger about the ordeal, Cameron said, “We’re able to operate. We’re able to shoot and have a more or less normal life here. We were very fortunate, so I don’t see any roadblocks to us getting the picture finished, getting both pictures finished.”

Although the second Avatar film is now “in the can,” Cameron refused to reveal any plot details about his next trip back to Pandora. “I can’t tell you anything about the story,” he told Danny DeVito‘s fraternal twin brother. “I believe in the mystery and the great reveal.”

It’s been more than a hot minute since the 2009 release of James Cameron‘s Avatar, so how excited are you to return to the franchise? Personally, I’m game for the ride if only to see how Cameron ups the special effects featured in the first film. It’s one of the few things I admire about him, he’s always looking to take things to the next level. Where do you land on the excitement scale for Avatar and its upcoming sequels? Let us know in the comments section below.

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