Producer Jon Landau has confirmed that production on Avatar 2 will resume in New Zealand next week after filming restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic were recently lifted in the country. The sequel was well into production when the pandemic hit, and had to pause filming as New Zealand went into an unprecedented lockdown. However, two weeks ago, the country's Film Commission announced that productions would be able to start shooting again.

The film is one of four sequels to director James Cameron's 2009 hit, Avatar, which smashed all box office records at the time, taking in a total of $2.79 billion, a record that was only recently overhauled by Avengers: Endgame. Cameron has since spent the better part of the past decade working on the technology required to bring his vision for the four sequels to life, as he has said a majority of the second film will focus on Pandora's oceans.

Now, Landau, who has been a producer on Cameron's films since 1997's Titanic, has taken to Instagram to confirm that production on the film will resume in New Zealand next week. Landau posted a photo of two boats that will be used in the production, saying that "Our Avatar sets are ready". You can see that post embedded below:

The news comes as a number of countries are beginning to lift restrictions on film production due to the fact that they have "flattened the curve" of the pandemic, meaning it is safe to return to set with safety protocols in place. Despite the lengthy production shutdown, Cameron recently said that the film's release date will still be met, partly due to the fact that the filmmakers were able to continue with various aspects of "virtual production" while in lockdown.

Cameron's first sequel sees a number of the original cast returning, including Sam Worthington as Jake Sully, Zoe Saldana as Neytiri, Sigourney Weaver as Dr. Grace Augustine and Stephen Lang as Miles Quaritch. There are also a number of new cast members, including Kate Winslet and Cliff Curtis, who can be seen in a new set photo released by Landau last week.

In spite of the 11-year gap between the first and second Avatar films, anticipation for the sequel is high. The first film represented the high-water mark for digital technology in films for a number of years, and pushed the boundaries of what films could present on screen. Many expect that Avatar 2 will similarly push things forward. Not only that, but any time Cameron releases a film, there is excitement, as he always produces something unexpected, and usually goes on to make bucket loads of money along the way. We can't wait to see what he comes up with this time around.