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. (Read more Avatar (film) stories.)