17 Dec – Filmmaker James Cameron has announced that the three "Avatar" sequels will also be shot in New Zealand similar to the first movie back in 2009.
In a deal struck by Lightstorm Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox with the government of New Zealand, the movies will be eligible for a 25 per cent rebate off its original production cost, a tab which will be picked up by the country's taxpayers.
Although the budget for the three sequels was not announced, Cameron disclosed that the cost of the three movies is expected to be below USD 1 billion.
The government of New Zealand in a statement said that the mega-production is expected to create jobs, generate revenue and enhance the country's image as a tourist destination.
Cameron plans to shoot all three "Avatar" sequels back-to-back and aims for completion over a period of nine months in 2015.
The first sequel is expected for the Christmas season in 2016 and it will be followed by the remaining two in late 2017 and 2018.
The sequels will be shot in 3D and at 48 frames per second similar to Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy.
Thus far, New Zealand has controversialy sponsored USD200 million for "The Lord Of The Rings" and "The Hobbit" trilogies and have also rewrote their labor law to meet the requirements of production studios.