Director James Cameron says he will be returning to New Zealand to film three sequels to “Avatar,” his enormously popular movie about the blue aliens of Pandora
The director made the announcement Monday in the capital Wellington with producer Jon Landau and Prime Minister John Key. The films will be made by Lightstorm Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox.bbc.co.uk
Cameron said the movies, with a combined budget of at least NZ$500 million (US$415 million), would be shot back-to-back.indiatimes.com
The films have been welcomed in the country and the first sequel will be released in 2016.dailymail.co.uk
Avatar, which was also shot in New Zealand, was released in 2009 and went on to win three Oscars
Cameron said of the plans: "It's quite a thrill to be officially saying that we're bringing the Avatar films to New Zealand."
In a statement, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce described the move as "excellent news for the New Zealand screen industry"
"The Avatar sequels will provide hundreds of jobs and thousands of hours of work directly in the screen sector as well as jobs right across the economy," he said.bbc.co.uk
Under the new rebate rules, the base will be raised to 20%, with another 5% available if producers meet specific criteria in terms of benefits to New Zealand.theguardian.com
The changes were aimed at both encouraging domestic production and "increasing the competitiveness of our incentives for international productions in the short to medium term", a separate statement said.washingtonpost.com
Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key called the Avatar announcement "a great Christmas present for those involved in making world-class movies"
As is typical with blockbusters, Cameron declined to disclose a budget