Considering that James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ was basically the ‘Titanic’ of science fiction (I picture Camerson swimming in a vault full of money, like Scrooge McDuck), it’s no wonder that that 20th Century Fox is going back to Pandora not once, not twice but three times.  The film set box office records with its mix of live action and CGI animation and its Eco-friendly theme.

Now, it’s been announced that the three new movies will be filmed in Middle Earth… er, rather New Zealand, the same island nation where Peter Jackson filmed the ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ movies.  An agreement was signed between New Zealand, Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox in which $500 million (NZ) would be paid in order to film the subsequent sci-fi spectacles in that country. According to THR:

The MoU outlines spending of at least $412 million on production activity in New Zealand, including most of the live action shooting and visual effects; employment and skills opportunities for New Zealanders, including in head of department roles. Around 90 percent of live action crew are expected to be New Zealanders. Alongside this, an internship programme will be supported.

In exchange, New Zealand will get a special red carpet premier and a documentary of the country will be included on the Blu-Ray release.  In addition to that, Cameron will help form a film advisory board and will offer insight into modern movie-making to the country that will enable them to host future film projects.

Cameron himself stated:

“We had such a wonderful experience here making the first film, and obviously the result of all of the talent in New Zealand speaks for itself. It’s a great pleasure for us to recreate that winning combination.”

The small nation, off the coast of Australia must be raking in it.  All of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Hobbit’ movies were filmed there and those have been very lucrative.  Now adding ‘Avatar’ to the mix will only intensify that.

Are you excited to revisit Pandora?