As threatened last week (sorry, teased last week), it looks like production on the Avatar sequels is really about to get back up and running. This isn’t just idle talk anymore, though, because Variety is reporting that director James Cameron recently entered a 14-day government-supervised quarantine after flying from Los Angeles to New Zealand so he can get back to work on his next movie about humans who put their brains into blue cat people and then fight to protect the environment from bad humans. That’s a fairly sizable time commitment, not just for Cameron, but for producer Jon Landau and the 50 or so crew members that he brought to New Zealand. They were all willing to stay isolated in a new country for two weeks just so they can do a job, so it actually seems pretty likely now that they’re going to, you know, do the job.
That means Avatar 2 will be one of the first big blockbuster movies to resume production after everything was shut down because of the pandemic, and as we noted last week, that’s weird. There were no Avatar movies for so long, and now Avatar movies are the only things happening. Wild stuff. It’s also worth noting that New Zealand is still technically closed to foreigners, but Cameron and the Avatar crew are getting an exemption because their work has “significant economic value” to the country—which is probably true, since Cameron and his pals are working on multiple Avatar movies at once and are set up at multiple New Zealand movie studios (which must be very expensive).
Now that we’re reasonably sure Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 and Avatar 4 are going to happen, we all have to ask ourselves whether we really care. The first movie was the rare thing that everybody saw but nobody would admit to actually caring about, but maybe Avatar 2 will capture the post-pandemic zeitgeist much like how the first one captured the 3D zeitgeist. We’ll know next year when Avatar 2 finally comes out.