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Cameron to Spend $1 Billion on Avatar 2 to 5

A screenshot from AvatarA screenshot from Avatar

Eight years after the first Avatar captured movie halls, Avatar 2 to 5 are finally beginning production, reported Slash Film (slashfilm.com), a US-based movie website.

The much-anticipated costly sci-fi sequel by Canadian director and producer James Cameron begins shooting this week, after pre-production of the film began in Australia back in the spring.

Avatar 2 begins shooting this week with Cameron at the helm and original cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Joel David Moore, Stephen Lang, Matt Gerald, and Sigourney Weaver returning for the sequel.

New cast members include Cliff Curtis as the chief of a reef people clan called the Metkayina, and Oona Chaplin as a strong and vibrant central character who spans the entire saga.

The production had been delayed for years to perfect its underwater motion-capture technique. “There are new characters and a lot of new settings and creatures, so I’m taking characters you know and putting them in unfamiliar places and moving them on this greater journey,” Cameron said.

Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5 are currently scheduled to hit theaters on December 18, 2020, December 17, 2021, December 20, 2024, and December 19, 2025, respectively. It is a typically ambitious schedule. Even Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy shot only three at once.

The budget for all four films is expected to exceed $1 billion. While this number may sound insane, it’s actually not too high considering it takes into account four technologically advanced, CG-created feature films. Given that Avatar made $2.7 billion, 20th Century Fox is no doubt banking on getting a much bigger return on that investment.

Cameron described the filmmaking process as simply being one big production: “It’s really all one big production. It’s more the way you would shoot a miniseries. So we’ll be shooting across all Avatar scripts simultaneously. So Monday I might be doing a scene from movie four, and Tuesday I’m doing a scene from movie one …

We’re working across, essentially, eight hours of story. It’s going to be a big challenge to keep it all fixed in our minds, exactly where we are, across that story arc at any given point. It’s going to be probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I’m sure the actors will be challenged by that as well. It’s like, ‘No, no, no, no, this person hasn’t died yet, so you’re still in this phase of your life.’ It’s a saga.”

 

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