Ok I must not be up with the play. Avatar 2 was filmed in NZ mostly or at least post production at the Weta Workshop.
Cameron mentioned a possible third sequel for the first time in 2012; and was officially confirmed the following year.
Cameron was then looking to release Avatar 2
in 2015, but later that year, production was rescheduled for 2014, with the film to be released in December 2016, and to be followed by the two other sequels in 2017 and 2018.
By 2015, the scheduled release dates for the sequels were each delayed by another year, with the first sequel expected to be released in December 2017; this was due to the writing process, which Cameron called "a complex job".
The following month, Fox announced a further release delay.
In February 2016, production of the sequels was scheduled to begin in April 2016 in New Zealand.
In April 2016, Cameron announced at CinemaCon that there will be four Avatar
sequels, all of which will be filmed simultaneously.
The four Avatar
sequels share a $1 billion budget (e.g. $250 million each film).
In February 2019, Landau stated that live-action filming for Avatar 2
would commence in New Zealand in the spring of 2019.
Cameron confirmed later the same month that they had "only wrapped for [the motion capture parts]. Now, that is the vast majority of the characters and it is the vast majority of the running time of the film
. But that pesky little live action component is going to cost me five months of my life across the two movies." Filming for 2019 concluded on November 29, to resume the following year in New Zealand.
On March 17, 2020, Landau announced that the filming of the Avatar sequel films in New Zealand had been postponed indefinitely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also confirmed that production would remain in Los Angeles. However, virtual production continued in Manhattan Beach, California while visual effects continued at Weta Digital in Wellington. In early May, health and safety production protocols had been endorsed by the New Zealand government, allowing filming to resume in the country.
On June 1, 2020, Landau posted a picture of himself and Cameron on Instagram, showing that they had returned to New Zealand to resume filming. After their arrival, Cameron and 55 other crew members who had traveled to New Zealand started a 2-week government-supervised isolation period at a hotel in Wellington before they would resume filming. This would make Avatar 2 and 3 the first major Hollywood blockbusters to resume production after postponing filming due to the pandemic. On June 16, 2020, Cameron resumed filming and Landau posted a photo of his crew on Instagram filming the production. The New Zealand production hired 46 New Zealand cast members including Cliff Curtis (Tonowari) and Duane Evans Jr. (Roxto), 114 local stunt artists, almost 800 extras, and 36 apprentices and interns. In September 2020, Cameron confirmed that live action filming in New Zealand had been completed, therefore completing the shooting of the film altogether after over three years; he estimated Avatar 3 to be "95%" completed, due to having live-action parts yet to be filmed outside of New Zealand.
In July 2022, the New Zealand Film Commission disclosed that the Avatar sequels had received over NZ$140 million worth of public funding through the country's Screen Production Grant. By comparison, The Hobbit trilogy (2012–2014) had received NZ$161 million in film subsidies. While ACT party deputy leader Brooke van Velden criticised the Government's film subsidy programme for allegedly taking public funding from other areas, the Economic Development and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash argued that New Zealand's film subsidies for major Hollywood products brought much needed overseas investment and jobs to the New Zealand film industry.