Middle-earth will transform into a futuristic world in the coming years, as there are three Avatar sequels in the pipeline – and James Cameron is set to film all of them in New Zealand.
Cameron loved filming in New Zealand, during his recent trip he explained that the cast and crew “had such a wonderful experience here making the first film”.
Cameron, plus New Zealand prime minister John Key and producer Jon Landau, made the Avatar announcement today. The trilogy will cost an estimated £253 million to make and will be produced by 20th Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment.
New Zealand’s government has agreed to offer further filming incentives. The film industry tax rebate used to be 15 per cent, now it is 25 per cent. New Zealand’s officials hope the new movie will tempt more directors to shoot on their shores.
Filming has had a significant impact on New Zealand’s tourism industry. “The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies have made a significant impact on New Zealand’s tourism in terms of global awareness and our visitor arrivals,” explained Danielle Genty-Nott, Tourism New Zealand’s regional manager for the UK and Europe. “From January to September this year alone, globally we’re up just over 10 per cent.”
The movie industry creates hundreds of jobs, economic development minister Steven Joyce explained: “The Avatar sequels will provide hundreds of jobs and thousands of hours of work directly in the screen sector as well as jobs right across the economy.”
The first Avatar movie is the highest-grossing film of all time and made an estimated £1.3 billion at the box office.
The Avatar sequel will be in cinemas around Christmas 2016.