New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment has announced that a number of high-profile productions will be allowed to resume or begin productions as the country has decided to allow “border exemptions” for Amazon Prime Video’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ series, Netflix’s ‘Cowboy Bebop’ and ‘Sweet Tooth’, and ‘Power Rangers Beast Morphers’ as well as Peter Farrelly’s film ‘Greatest Beer Run Ever’ starring Viggo Mortensen. The ‘Avatar’ sequels have already resumed production, as had Jane Campion’s ‘The Power of the Dog’, an original movie for Netflix.
New Zealand’s Stuff reports that according to the MBIE manager of immigration policy Sian Roguski, a total of 206 foreign-based cast and crew members, along with 35 family members, will be allowed to enter the country in the upcoming six months. All will be responsible for their own quarantine or self-isolation costs. However, it is estimated that these productions will generate 3000 local jobs and $400 million in revenue.
James Cameron is directing four sequels to his 2009 smash, ‘Avatar’, which became the highest-grossing movie of all time, until it was surpassed by ‘Avengers: Endgame’ last year, but Cameron is confident that his sequels will top that Disney/Marvel crossover epic. The sequels are scheduled to be released on December 17, 2021, December 22, 2023, December 19, 2025, and December 17, 2027, with Cameron directing multiple sequels simultaneously.
Amazon Prime Video’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ series is set during Middle Earth’s Second Age, many years before the events of ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ books and movies– a period when the Rings of Power were created. Amazon has preemptively ordered two seasons, with at least three more likely.
‘Cowboy Bebop’ is a live-action adaptation of the jazzy 1998 space anime series about a group of bounty hunters on the darker side of the galaxy. John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda, Elena Satine, and Alex Hassell will star.
‘Sweet Tooth’ is an adaptation of Jeff Lemire’s DC/Vertigo fantasy/sci-fi comic series about a post-apocalyptic world where humans co-exist with human-animal hybrids.
‘Power Rangers Beast Morphers’ is the latest iteration of the long-running kids TV favorite and the first produced by Hasbro, after it acquired the property from Saban. Yes, the “American” parts of ‘Power Rangers’ are actually filmed in New Zealand and have been ever since 2003’s ‘Power Rangers Ninja Storm’!
Which of these projects are you most looking forward to? Check back for updates as they arrive!