'Avatar 2': Producer Jon Landau Shares Set Photo, Says Filming To Restart In New Zealand "Next Week"

It took 10 years for Avatar 2 to start production, and one pandemic isn't going to stop it. Production on the long-in-the-works sequel was halted in March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but it is already set to resume next week, according to producer Jon Landau.

In a post on his Instagram on Thursday, Landau teased the latest of many on-set photos of Avatar 2, but with an exciting new reveal: Avatar 2 filming will resume next week.

"Our Avatar sets are ready — and we couldn't be more excited to be headed back to New Zealand next week," Landau wrote in his caption of a new set photo of two impressive sea vessels that will make their debut in the Avatar sequel. "Check out the Matador, a high speed forward command vessel (bottom) and the Picador jetboat (top) — can't wait to share more."

The sea vessels look massive and intimidating, and will likely be the ships used by the humans to traverse the mostly water-covered world that Avatar 2 will be exploring. Previous set images have highlighted the underwater segments of this world, but it's not surprising that we'll have some scenes aboveground, with the human military exploring these uncharted territories.

Production on the four Avatar sequels, which were shooting back-to-back in New Zealand, was put on pause in March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but Cameron and crew have continued chugging on remotely, with the New Zealand-based WETA Digital continuing to work on the movies' visual effects. The effects are reportedly budgeted at $1 billion.

The slow re-opening of overseas productions have given Cameron confidence that Avatar 2 can still make its December 2021 release date, and the recent release of a string of behind-the-scenes images of the set supports that. The long-delayed sequels to the 2009 mega-hit were due to be completed by the end of 2020, and may still in fact make their release dates, which 20th Century Studios still have not changed yet.

The Avatar sequels are bringing back the original movie's cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, and Matt Gerald. But there are several new cast members in the mix as well, including Kate Winslet, Edie Falco, Michelle Yeoh, Vin Diesel, Jemaine Clement, and Oona Chaplin. There's also a whole group of young actors playing Na'vi children in the movie.

Avatar 2 is aiming for a December 27, 2021 release, and three more sequels are set to quickly follow in December 2023, December 2025, and December 2027.