Producer Jon Landau has revealed on his Facebook page that the Avatar live-action filming is officially underway in Wellington, New Zealand. Cliff Curtis, who plays Tonowari in the Avatar sequels, brought 42 members of his family from the Ngati Rongomai tribe to conduct a traditional Māori Karakia (“blessing”) to kick off the Avatar live-action filming.
“Was blown away,” Landau said. “I had asked Cliff Curtis if he would surprise James Cameron on the first day of live action filming by doing a small Māori blessing. Cliff showed up with 42 members of his family from the Ngati Rongomai tribe. All of whom made the 7-hour bus ride to give the entire crew the treat of a lifetime with beautiful original Waiata Songs and a powerful original Haka. To Cliff and his family, thank you. Aroha nui.”
The producer has also posted some great photos from the live-action sets and the cast read through with Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement, Brendan Cowell, Jack Champion and Cameron. You can view some of his photos in the gallery below and check out his page for more!
The second film, Avatar: The Way of Water, is scheduled to be released by Disney’s 20th Century Fox on December 17, 2021. Avatar: The Seed Bearer will follow on December 22, 2023. Then Avatar: The Tulkun Rider and Avatar: The Quest for Eywa are coming to theaters on December 19, 2025 and December 17, 2027.
Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, Stephen Lang, Matt Gerald, and Sigourney Weaver are returning for the Avatar sequels. Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Oona Chaplin, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell, Michelle Yeoh, and Jemaine Clement are also on board. The young members of the Sully family are played by Jamie Flatters, Britain Dalton, and Trinity Bliss, while the Metkayina Clan members are played by Bailey Bass, Filip Geljo, and Duane Evans Jr. Jack Champion is playing Javier “Spider” Socorro, a human teenager, born at Hell’s Gate but who prefers his time in the Pandoran rainforest more than the asphalt of Hell’s Gate.
The Avatar sequels will be produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau through their Lightstorm Entertainment. The James Cameron-directed sequels are written by Cameron along with Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, Josh Friedman, and Shane Salerno.