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Filming is back on in New Zealand

Filming is back on in New Zealand

In the last week we have received some fantastic updates from New Zealand. After their two week quarantine to make sure no one brought Covid-19 over with them, the 55 member cast and crew were allowed to start working again. Jon Landau shared these two amazing photos from the studios. If you aren’t following Jon on Facebook you are missing out. Give him a follow and a like, he’s been fantastic at sharing behind the scenes images from the sequels.

A lovely rainbow greeted them on their first day back to the studio.

This is the first shot back in production.

Plus a short video from Reuters of the cast getting back together. They revealed that 55 cast and crew came to New Zealand from the US.

Thankfully the delay was only three months and the team was able to get back to New Zealand without incident. Now they can wrap up that final push for Avatar 2. I am super excited to know that after all of the delays we’ve had over the years it looks like we dodged a Covid-19 delay for now. I can’t wait to see Avatar 2 arrive in theaters and the build up to the release.

Happy 3 years to Pandora and Disney reopening dates

Happy 3 years to Pandora and Disney reopening dates

Happy 3 years to Pandora-The World of Avatar. I can’t believe it’s already been three years, in that short of time the park has been directly hit by hurricane Irma, subsequently closing for two days, and is currently closed do to the COVID-19 pandemic. However there is some promising news which I’ll get to shortly. I wanted to send a big irayo to all the cast and crew who’ve worked at Pandora and helped bring the area to life. I enjoyed watching the online updates in the years leading up to the Pandora addition and when I got the chance to visit it didn’t let me down. In fact it took all my expectations and blew them out of the water. Here is to many more birthdays for Pandora, and less disasters in the future.

Also I wanted to mention, starting July 11th Pandora/Animal Kingdom will begin a phased reopening process. According to CNN, Disney is implementing several measures to reopen safely and prevent the spread of the coronavirus at its parks, including the following-

  • Employees and guests will be required to wear face coverings and undergo temperature screenings before entering the parks.
  • Disney will reduce capacity at the parks and the resort will temporarily suspend parades, fireworks and other events that create crowds
  • The resort will also enable cashless transactions by expanding contactless payments.
  • Disney will also increase the number of available hand-sanitizing stations.
Returning to New Zealand soon to resume sequels

Returning to New Zealand soon to resume sequels

Jon Landau recently spoke to RNZ about returning to New Zealand to resume filming on the Avatar sequels and shared a wonderful tidbit of information of whats to come in Avatar 2. Here are some highlights from that interview.

Jon and a small crew will return to New Zealand next week. Upon arrival they will quarantine for two weeks. He had this to say about returning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We feel very comfortable because of the actions of your government and also the responsibility the people took to really curb the virus there. So we feel we’re coming back to the safest place in the world possible thanks to a team of people that we’ve worked with. We believe we have a very thoughtful, detailed and diligent safety plan that will keep everybody as safe as possible in these unprecedented times. If there’s a silver lining to a very, very grey cloud, it’s that we live in a day and age where technology allows us to be productive, it allows us to be entertained and it allows us to socialize.”

He also left us with a fantastic bit of information on where we will find Jake and Neytiri in Avatar 2.

“This is the story of the Sully family and what one does to keep their family together. Jake and Neytiri have a family in this movie, they are forced to leave their home, they go out and explore the different regions of Pandora, including spending quite a bit of time on the water, around the water, in the water. I think, why do people turn to entertainment today, more so than ever? I think it’s to escape, to escape the world we’re in, to escape the other pressures they have in their lives.”

 

You can read the interview in its entirety HERE.

Avatar Sequel Set Pictures and speculation

Avatar Sequel Set Pictures and speculation

Hey everyone! Jon Landau continues to show amazing photos of sets and the cast from the upcoming sequels. He has recently shared some great news and that is that they are headed back to New Zealand next week to resume working on the Avatar sequels which have been delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. He also recently shared the these photos.

The Matador, a high speed forward command vessel (bottom), and the Picador jetboat (top). Wow look at that harpoon on the Matador. I think these are RDA boats, you can even see the “Ops” from Sec Ops on the Picadors side. If you rode the Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom you know we get to see some of the sea creatures that will most likely be in the sequels like the giant nalutsa. Also when Avatar released the first bit of concept art from the sequels we got to see two Na’vi riding ilu. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if the RDA were hunting the nalutsa or ilu in the movie with giant harpoons like these.

Bottom row left to right, Zoe Saldana (Neytiri of the Omatikaya) and Sam Worthington (Jake Sully, Chief of the Omatikaya). Top row left to right, Kate Winslet (Ronal of the Metkayina) and Cliff Curtis (Tonowari, Chief of the Metkayina). This is fantastic to see, this is the first picture I’ve seen of Sam on set, and we get a chance to see them in the silver water mo-cap suits. We first saw the underwater suits in early 2018 when Zoe posted a video and some pictures of herself while wearing one on IG. The floating white balls were discussed by Jon on another photo, they prevent light from contaminating the underwater performance capture system while allowing anyone in the water to surface safely.

One of the first looks we got of the underwater mo-cap suits, shared by Zoe Saldana on IG in 2018.

James Cameron giving the actors direction before they dive underwater to capture performances for a scene. Here we get a blurry but good view of the white balls again. I would love to know who all is in this shot. I believe the far right could be Lea Catania.

This is such a cool behind the scenes shot of how they are doing the underwater mo-cap production. I really hope we get a great making-of book for Avatar 2. I can’t wait to learn so much more about all the new technology that’s going into the sequels.

The aft well deck section of the Sea Dragon, a massive mothership that carries an array of other sea-going craft in the Avatar sequels. It really looks like the RDA are looking to dominate the Pandoran oceans in Avatar 2. It will be very interesting to see how all of these different vessels play out.

Sigourney Weaver (Grace Augustine) and Joel David Moore (Norm Spellman) back in the Site 26 Shack set for some scenes for the new movies. Wow this picture sure brings back memories, it looks like it is straight from the original Avatar. It will have been 12 years between Avatar and Avatar 2, so I love the idea of flashbacks like this. Which brings me to the next photos that Jon shared with us in 2019, think there is any chance we get to see Trudy again in a flashback? I know she stopped by as a visitor, I think it would be pretty special if they worked her into a flashback.

Michelle Rodriguez (Trudy Chacon) with Garrett Warren (Avatar stunt coordinator).

Jon Landau and Michelle on set in New Zealand.

Michelle with James Cameron.

 

Update on Avatar live action filming from Jon Landau

Update on Avatar live action filming from Jon Landau

 

I applaud the decision makers at Lightstorm for doing the right thing. They want to get Avatar 2 and all the sequels out more than anyone, this is how they stay in business after all. However it sounds like they are making the best decision for the whole team staying in LA and working from there. I think it’s great they considered everyone families as well. After all these are just people, they may be struggling finding food or supplies just like the rest of us, they may be dealing with friends and family who have the virus. How can one pour their whole self into a movie when your family is thousands of miles away quarantined or even worse. If you follow any of the cast and crew on the various social media platforms send them a thoughtful message, they’ll probably appreciate it. It’s a great time to share love and compassion with one another, everyone has a lot on their plate to deal with right now.

Follow Jon on his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/JonLandauLA/

Avatar Sequel filming in New Zealand delayed due to Covid-19

Avatar Sequel filming in New Zealand delayed due to Covid-19

Jon Landau spoke to the New Zealand Herald about the live action filming delay,

“If I told you we are going to know something in two weeks I’d be lying. I might not be wrong – even a broken clock is right twice a day. But I would be lying because I don’t know.

“We’ve delayed it. We had plans to come down Friday night with a group of people and start back up and we made the decision to hold off and continue working here [Los Angeles], and come down there a little bit later than we’d planned.

“We’re in the midst of a global crisis and this is not about the film industry. I think everybody needs to do now whatever we can do, as we say here, to flatten the [coronavirus] curve.”

Jon also went on to say that they would be reassessing the delay daily, and that they are trying to do whats in the best interest of the crew. He also said that even though there is a delay they will be working on getting as many minutes of film as possible to WETA who is working on all the digital effects.

You can read the full article here- NZ Herald

There is no official word yet if this will lead to another delay in the release of Avatar 2 which is currently slated for release on December 17th, 2021.

AVTR Vision Avatar Inspired Concept art

AVTR Vision Avatar Inspired Concept art

I thought these were fantastic, they show where some of the inspiration for particular pieces of the Mercedes Benz AVTR Vision came from. I especially like the atokirina (woodsprite) inspired wheel design. Even though this is a one off design we won’t be seeing on the road there are some fascinating things that went into this car that I hope to see carry over to production models in the future.

Mercedes Benz AVTR Vision

Mercedes Benz AVTR Vision

At the 2020 Consumer electronics show Mercedes Benz unveiled the Vision AVTR. Mercedes partnered with Avatar to create something very much from Earth that is inspired by Pandora. It has some truly unique features such as, “for the first time, the revolutionary battery technology is based on graphene-based organic cell chemistry and thus completely eliminates rare, toxic and expensive earths such as metals. Electromobility thus becomes independent of fossil resources. An absolute revolution is also the recyclability by composting, which is 100% recyclable due to the materiality.” While we will never see this particular car on the road, it sounds like it is helping Mercedes progress towards a more sustainable e-car in the future. I think we can all benefit from the technology gained in creating this beautiful car. Check out the link for even more information, and enjoy the video and pictures. Mercedes AVTR Vision