MarketSaw reports that the production of Avatar 2, Avatar 3 and Avatar 4 will be heading back to New Zealand. These three films will cost around $412 million to make, which is $80 million less than Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy (estimated at $500 million). We’ve seen budgets eventually get inflated with reshoots and delayed special effects, it’s possible that number could increase by the time Avatar 4 is finally completed in 2018. Main actors Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana are back with Stephen Lang returning at the villain (how? we haven’t figured that out yet). There had been some hints that Sigourney Weaver would also be back, but that has yet to be announced by Fox or the trades. Work on the production has already begun at Weta (I assume set and prop construction), which is expected to begin shooting in October.
While the plot of the sequels is currently unknown, we do know Avatar 2 could focus primarily on the oceans of Pandora. Speculation concerning the return of Colonel Quaritch, suggests siblings or clones might be the reason for his sudden resurrection. Other than that we don’t know too much at this point, besides the fourth installment could become a prequel to the previous three films. This news means that Battle Angel: Alita won’t be made anytime soon, and I’ll be busy sulking that a great manga-to-film project has been shelved for the time being.
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