Avatar 2 producer Jon Landau has teased some previously scarce plot details about the long-awaited sequel from director James Cameron.
Other than a return to the planet and people of Pandora, little is known about where the movie will be heading, not to mention the multiple planned sequels to follow (four more movies in all).
Speaking to the New Zealand news site RNZ, Landau explained: “This is the story of the Sully family and what one does to keep their family together.
“Jake and Neytiri have a family in this movie, they are forced to leave their home, they go out and explore the different regions of Pandora, including spending quite a bit of time on the water, around the water, in the water.
“I think, why do people turn to entertainment today, more so than ever? I think it's to escape, to escape the world we're in, to escape the other pressures they have in their lives.”
The first movie, released in 2009, introduced us to Sam Worthington's Jake Sully, the disabled former Marine who become part of the Avatar program, infiltrating the alien Na'vi people, whose resources are being mined by an unscrupulous corporation.
Cameron is filming the second and third movies back to back, with Landau speaking as the production comes back online after being halted in March as the pandemic took hold.
New Zealand has been praised for its quick and decisive action taken to contain COVID-19, resulting in 21 deaths.
Landau added: “We feel very comfortable because of the actions of your government and also the responsibility the people took to really curb the virus there.
“So we feel we're coming back to the safest place in the world possible thanks to a team of people that we've worked with. We believe we have a very thoughtful, detailed and diligent safety plan that will keep everybody as safe as possible in these unprecedented times.
“I think with Avatar, we have an opportunity to allow people to escape to an incredible world with incredible characters that they will follow, in much the same way as Peter Jackson was able to do with Lord of the Rings, so that's what we're looking forward to doing.”
He added that the crew is now somewhat pared down, saying that 'we're bringing back far fewer people than we had last year when we were filming. We're bringing really those who are essential to our filming needs and we'll be working with the same crew that we had in New Zealand'.
Since the acquisition of the Fox studio by Disney last year, the Mouse House is now the custodians of the potentially risky sequels.
Much time has passed since the first ground-breaking movie, and Cameron’s sequels are said to be costing a staggering $1 billion in all.
Avatar 2 is set for release in December, 2021.