Avatar 2 has finished filming – but don't expect to see the sequel to the once highest-grossing movie of all time in cinemas anytime soon.
James Cameron has confirmed that shooting the live-action elements of the Avatar follow-up has been completed, telling an audience at the 2020 Austrian World Summit (via CinemaBlend (opens in new tab)): "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% left to go. We’re 100% complete on Avatar 2, and we’re sort of 95% complete on Avatar 3."
While that milestone may be huge, the amount of visual effects is set to be extraordinary. The first movie had over a thousand people working on VFX and the sequel looks set to expand that even further, with a budget rumoured to be around $1 billion for four sequels – so $250 million a pop.
The Avatar sequels started development in 2017 and filming was halted earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The producers have kept us well informed about how things have been going, with behind-the-scenes shots of Sigourney Weaver underwater, concept art showing off a “Crabsuit”, and more featuring Kate Winslet, Zoe Saldana, and Sam Worthington in action all being shared on social media.
Despite filming being complete, we have some time to wait until we can see the frst sequel. Avatar 2 is set for release on December 16, 2022; Avatar 3 on December 20, 2024; Avatar 4 on December 18, 2026, and finally Avatar 5 on December 22, 2028.