James Cameron Announces Intense Two-Year Post-Production for ‘Avatar 3’, Commits to Filming Exclusively in New Zealand

James Cameron, at a New Zealand press conference, called the post-production work for “Avatar 3” “hectic”.

The conference, led by John Campbell of 1News, was also a platform for Cameron to express his dedication to New Zealand as his primary filming location, stating he will shoot movies there indefinitely. He also mentioned his upcoming New Zealand citizenship in 2024. Cameron has been associated with New Zealand since 2005, starting with the development of the first “Avatar” film.

“We’re into a very hectic two years of post-production right now,” Cameron said about “Avatar 3”, noting its release is scheduled for Christmas 2025. Disney, which acquired the “Avatar” franchise, has delayed the release dates of the next three sequels, extending the series to 2031.

The release dates are now set as: “Avatar 3” on December 19, 2025; “Avatar 4” on December 21, 2029; and “Avatar 5” on December 19, 2031. The final film will debut 22 years after the original. “Avatar: The Way of Water”, released in December 2022, earned $2.3 billion globally, becoming the third highest-grossing movie ever.

Zoe Saldaña, the franchise star, jokingly remarked on Instagram about her age when the last film releases: “Great! I’m gonna be 53 when the last ‘Avatar’ comes out. I was 27 when I shot the very first ‘Avatar.’” Sam Worthington, another lead actor, will be 55, and Cameron himself will be 77 at the time of the final movie’s release.

Cameron also revealed that “Avatar 3” will feature a new, more hostile Na’vi race, the Ash People. This information was shared earlier by franchise producer Jon Landau with Empire magazine. The Ash People are described as a volcanic, aggressive Na’vi race led by Varang, played by Oona Chaplin.

Finally, at the press conference, Cameron affirmed his commitment to New Zealand for future “Avatar” movies and other projects, citing the economic and cultural benefits for the country.

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