Earlier this year director James Cameron moved to New Zealand to start working on his next three Avatar sequels. He already set up production offices there and in Los Angeles. I just assumed he was going to film the movies there, but apparently it's official now.
Prime Minister John Key made the announcement yesterday, saying that the films would be made in their country and that the studio will spend at least NZ$500 million during their production. It will also lead to thousands of people being employed.
If the three films fulfill certain requirements, they will qualify for a total tax rebate of 25%. Those requirements include,
- Spending at least NZ$500 million in New Zealand, including most of the live action shooting and visual effects.
- New Zealand hosting at least one official red carpet premiere and a featurette on New Zealand being included in DVDs and Blu Rays.
- An offer by Cameron to serve as a founding member of a new screen advisory board, which will provide advice and guidance to New Zealand screen and film makers looking to succeed internationally.
- Marketing and promotion of New Zealand and its film industry.
Cameron expects that these three films will be released in December of 2016, 2017, and 2018. As much as I enjoyed the first movie, I hope that these sequels end up being even better.