By Rachel Yang
September 27, 2020 at 09:05 PM EDT
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It's been a long time coming, but James Cameron's Avatar sequels are finally close to the finish line. The director recently revealed that he is "100 percent complete" on filming Avatar 2 and "95 percent" complete on Avatar 3.

During a Zoom interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger ahead of the 2020 Austrian World Summit, Cameron provided updates on the follow-up films to the 2009 blockbuster.

Credit: 20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

“COVID hit us like it hit everybody… We lost about four and a half months of production,” he said. “As a result of that, we’ve rolled around one more full year for a release in December of 2022. That’s been announced already.

“Now that doesn’t mean I have an extra year to finish the film because the day we deliver Avatar 2 we’ll just start working on finishing Avatar 3,” the director added.

“So where we are right now, I’m down in New Zealand shooting. We’re shooting the remainder of the live-action. We’ve got about 10 percent left to go. We’re 100 percent complete on Avatar 2 and we’re sort of 95 percent complete on Avatar 3.”

Cameron first announced Avatar a decade ago back in 2010, but the film's scheduled release date has been repeatedly pushed back. The movie only recently resumed production after the pandemic shut down the industry in March and had to move its projected premiere date of Dec. 17, 2021.

In September, producer Jon Landau shared photos of returning star Sigourney Weaver in the film's custom 900,000-gallon water tank, and previously posted images of Sam Worthington and Zoë Saldana, who are also coming back for the sequels, with new cast members Kate Winslet and Cliff Curtis.

As EW revealed last October, the second Avatar film will focus on the offspring of Jake Sully (Worthington) and Neytiri (Saldana).

“We never had this youthful element before, and that brings a different kind of energy to the film,” Landau told EW. “They represent the future generation of Pandora [the planet the film’s aliens, the Na’vi, call home] and play a very significant role — not just in this movie but throughout all the movies.”

Avatar 2 is now slated to hit theaters December 2022, while Avatar 3, 4, and are also in the works.

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