Production of James Cameron’s three Avatar sequels has been halted due to the coronavirus outbreak.
According to Variety, sources at the New Zealand Film Commission have confirmed that the forthcoming movies have been postponed until further notice.
The postponement comes after local reports revealed on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, that crew members got emails from the producers announcing an immediate shutdown of production.
The executives of the film’s production had been due to fly from Los Angeles to New Zealand on Friday to resume shooting at the Stone Street Studios in Wellington. They will now remain in the United States.
It hasn’t been revealed if director James Cameron is among the executives but filming has alternated between studios at Kumeu near Auckland and Stone Street, Wellington.
“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.
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.” – Producer Jon Landau
New release dates for the sequels had been announced as follows: Avatar 2 set for December 17, 2021, Avatar 3 coming December 2023, Avatar 4 poised for release in December 2025, and Avatar 5 storming cinemas in December 2027.
With the latest development, the release dates might be affected.
New Zealand now has 12 cases of COVID-19 but there haven’t been any casualties so far.
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