It was announced earlier today by director James Cameron and the New Zealand Government that the next three Avatar sequels are to be filmed in New Zealand. At least $500 million will be spent in the production of three sequels, creating many jobs and providing growth for the country’s screen industry.
This news comes after the government increased film industry tax rebates from 15% up to 25%. Cameron says that he wouldn’t have made the films in NZ if the rebate hadn’t risen.
In an official statement released, New Zealand Culture and Heritage Minister Christopher Finlayson said, “The filming of the Avatar films will be of substantial benefit to New Zealand economically and culturally. Besides the confidence being shown in the talented people who work in our screen industry, the commitment by James Cameron, Lightstorm and Twentieth Century Fox to work with the Government to help grow the local industry is significant and will help ensure it is sustainable long term.”
James Cameron has stated that he and his family intend to become residents of New Zealand, saying that they already have a farm in the countryside.
Stuff.co.nz says that as part of the deal, “New Zealand would host a red carpet premiere for at least one of the Avatar films and a “featurette” on New Zealand would be included on DVDs and Blu Rays.”