Avatar Sequels Began Filming This Week with around a $1 Billion Budget
The Avatar sequels officially began production this week. It’s been a long road to this point in the Avatar franchise but it has finally arrived. The Avatar sequels have moved from pre-production to actual production. The official release date for the first of the sequels, Avatar 2, is December 18, 2020.
Along with the production start news comes news that (spoiler) Stephen Lang will not only return for Avatar 2 but for all of the sequels.
“The interesting conceit of the ‘Avatar’ sequels is it’s pretty much the same characters,” Cameron said. “There are new characters and a lot of new settings and creatures, so I’m taking characters you know and putting them in unfamiliar places and moving them on this greater journey. But it’s not a whole bunch of new characters every time. There’s not a new villain every time, which is interesting. Same guy. Same motherf*cker through all four movies. He is so good and he just gets better. I know Stephen Lang is gonna knock this out of the park.”
Along with Stephen Lang, Avatar 2 will also star Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Joel David Moore, Matt Gerald, Sigourney Weaver, Cliff Curtis, and Oona Chaplin.
The Avatar sequels will not be shoot back-to-back. Scenes for all four films will be shot out of order. Director James Cameron has confirmed this:
It’s not back-to-back. It’s really all one big production. It’s more the way you would shoot a miniseries. So we’ll be shooting across all [Avatar scripts] simultaneously. So Monday I might be doing a scene from Movie Four, and Tuesday I’m doing a scene from Movie One. … We’re working across, essentially, eight hours of story. It’s going to be a big challenge to keep it all fixed in our minds, exactly where we are, across that story arc at any given point. It’s going to be probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I’m sure the actors will be challenged by that as well. It’s like, ‘No, no, no, no, this person hasn’t died yet, so you’re still in this phase of your life.’ It’s a saga.
Such an ambitious production schedule does not come cheap. “Analysts estimate Cameron will spend upwards of $1 billion on the four films, quadruple what was spent by Jackson (although, $675 million was spent on The Hobbit trilogy).”
Following Avatar 2, Avatar 3 will be released on December 17, 2021. Avatar 4 will be released on December 20, 2024. Avatar 5 will be released on December 19, 2025.
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