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.
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.”
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.
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.