If you have been worried for New Zealand’s economy now that Peter Jackson’s three-film adaptation of The Hobbit is winding down over the next year, you can stop. James Cameron has announced that he will be producing his three planned sequels to his 2009 blockbuster Avatar in the same country whose economy has been helped by the hundreds of millions of dollars that Jackson had been spending on producing his films.
The announcement came this morning in Wellington at a news conference with Cameron, his producer Jon Landau and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.
Shooting is expected to start early next year, with all three films being shot at once over a space of nine months. Cameron remarked that he is hoping that economies of scale will help to keep the projected budget for the trilogy under $1 billion. Cameron states that he is not in the habit of releasing the budgets of his films, though estimates have placed the cost of the first Avatar film anywhere between $237 and $310 million.
Speaking with the Associated Press, Cameron described the sequels as something that will grow quite epic in size.
[The first film] was very Jake-centric. His story seen through his eyes. We spread it around quite a bit more as we go forward. It’s really the story of his family, the family that he creates on Pandora. His extended family. So think of it as a family saga like The Godfather.
The plan is to have the films in theaters annually at Christmastime starting in 2016.
Via New Zealand Herald.