Avatar sequels shut down production in NZ

All overseas productions due to shoot in the country are being affected

By Chris Evans 17 Mar 2020

Avatar sequels shut down production in NZ

Filming of the sequels to director James Cameron’s hugely successful Avatar film have been suspended amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

The film’s executive team had been due to fly from Los Angeles to New Zealand on Friday, and to resume a block of shooting at the Stone Street Studios in Wellington. They will now remain in the US.

“We’ve delayed it. We had plans to come down Friday night with a group of people and start back up and we made the decision to hold off and continue working here (in Los Angeles), and come down there a little bit later than we’d planned,” producer Jon Landau told the New Zealand Herald newspaper.

“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.”

Wellington-based Weta Digital will continue to work on visual effects on the films, that are reportedly budgeted at $1bn (NZ$1.65bn).

The long-delayed sequels to 2009's Avatar were due to be completed by the end of 2020 with work on a total of four films being done simultaneously. 

 Any overseas productions, for which people had to travel into New Zealand, are being affected.

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