Speaking over Zoom to the Internet’s favorite Hollywood action star Arnold Schwarzenegger during the 2020 Austrian World Summit, renowned director James Cameron confirmed that filming for the Avatar sequel has already been complete, with the third installment 95 percent done as well, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Well, [COVID-19] hit us like it hit everybody,” Cameron said about nine minutes into the video below. “Hit us hard. We lost about four and a half months of production. As a result of that, we’ve rolled around one more full year for a release in December of . That’s been announced already. Now, that doesn’t mean that I have an extra year to finish the film because the day we deliver Avatar 2 we’ll just start working on finishing Avatar 3. So where we are right now, I’m down in New Zealand shooting. We’re shooting the remainder of the live-action. We’ve got about 10 percent left to go. We’re 100 percent complete on Avatar 2 and we’re sort of 95 percent complete on Avatar 3.”
During the interview, the director also praised the pandemic response from New Zealand. “We’re very lucky in that we chose this as our production site years ago,” he said said. “We made the first film here in New Zealand and it turns out to be, it’s ranked either the first or second-best country in the world for its [COVID-19] response. Sometimes Germany is in the number one spot, sometimes New Zealand is in the number one spot. But we’re actually able to operate. We’re at level 2 here right now but we’re able to operate, we’re able to shoot, and we’re able to have a more or less normal life here. We’re very fortunate.”
Avatar 2 is scheduled for release on December 16, 2022, while Avatar 3 will arrive on December 20, 2024. Two other sequels are also expected to come in 2026 and 2028.