Dec 16, 2013 09:45 AM EST
Three Avatar Sequels to Be Filmed In New Zealand
It's time for double celebration for world-wide Avatar fans as James Cameron is planning not one, but three sequels to the 2009 sci-fi block buster movie, which will be filmed in New Zealand.
Cameron will be returning to the island country to shoot major parts of all the three sequels at one time over a period of about nine months beginning in 2015. He aims to release all the sequels between Christmas 2016 and 2018.
'Avatar,' which was shot in New Zealand, won three Academy Awards and is the highest-grossing film in history with an international box office collection of nearly $2.8bn.
The Avatar sequels will be made by Lightstorm Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox. Cameron plans to film majority of the sequences in 3D and some of them at 48 frames a second.
"It's quite a thrill to be officially saying that we're bringing the Avatar films to New Zealand," Cameron said. "We had such a wonderful experience here making the first film," the Guardian reports.
Cameron said that script writing and screenplay of the movies had already begun.
As the sequels will be generating lot of revenues and boosting tourism, the New Zealand government has agreed to a 25 percent financial rebate. In return, the filmmakers have agreed to spend a minimum NZ$500 million (US$414 million) in the country during their production.
"It's a day of great celebration. It's a great Christmas present for those involved in making world class movies," New Zealand's prime minister, John Key said.
Cameron is not the first prominent American film director to take advantage of New Zealand's picturesque alpine peaks, rain forests and wilderness. Peter Jackson's 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy is responsible for triggering the multibillion-dollar film and television industry in the Pacific nation. The Hobbit series is reported to have generated 5,500 jobs and an 8 percent of tourists said they visited the island because of the movies filmed here.
"We need a strong flow of international productions to retain critical mass," said Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce, Wall Street Journal reports.
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