New Zealand’s small army of proficient film crews have been working on The Hobbit, and now it appears they’ll have another mammoth trilogy to tackle. James Cameron has issued a statement that he plans to shoot Avatar 2, Avatar 3, and Avatar 4 in New Zealand. According to The Wrap, the three sequels will be shot at the same time, and “perhaps over a period of about nine months.” Obviously, this is great news for the small country as Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said in a statement, “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.”
Of course, this works to 20th Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment’s benefit as well. The Wrap reports, “New Zealand’s government has agreed to a 25 percent financial rebate, up from the current 15 percent,” and Cameron expects the budget on all three sequels to come in beneath $1 billion, which is surprising when you consider that the first film was reported to have cost $500 million. Avatar 2 is set for December 2016 followed by Avatar 3 in December 2017 and then Avatar 4 in December 2018.