3 Avatar Sequels Will Be Made in NZ

Cameron wants first one out by Christmas 2016

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 16, 2013 12:49 AM CST

(Newser) – New Zealand is about to get a major case of the blues—Avatar director James Cameron has announced that he plans to return to the country to shoot three sequels about the blue-skinned inhabitants of the fantasy world of Pandora. The director and Twentieth Century Fox have guaranteed that the sequels, New Zealand's biggest film project since The Hobbit movies, will bring at least $413 million to the country and the government has agreed to pick up a quarter of the tab through a tax rebate, the AP reports.

Cameron says he plans to start filming in 2015, aiming to have the first sequel ready by Christmas 2016 with follow-ups for Christmas 2017 and 2018. The director, who recently became a New Zealand resident, praised the country and its film industry when announcing the sequels, reports the New Zealand Herald. He told reporters that Hobbit director Peter Jackson is a friend and they will try to avoid having major productions overlapping and stretching the workforce.

Director James Cameron announces in Wellington, New Zealand, that he will shoot three sequels to his 2009 sci-fi blockbuster movie "Avatar" in New Zealand.   (AP Photo/Nick Perry)
The character Neytiri, voiced by Zoe Saldana, right, and the character Jake, voiced by Sam Worthington are shown in a scene from, "Avatar."   (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, File)
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