The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause major disruption across the entertainment industry, with the production and release of many shows and movies delayed. However, shooting has started again in New Zealand, where work on several big titles is now underway. The latest shows to start filming again are Amazon’s Lord of the Rings and Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop series.
As reported by Deadline, production has resumed on The Lord of the Rings, while Cowboy Bebop will restart on Wednesday this week, September 30. While New Zealand has extremely strict rules on who can enter the country, in July the country’s government granted “border exemptions” for certain international film and TV productions.
The Lord Of the Rings had been shooting since late 2019 before it was shut down in March. Deadline states that filming on the first two episodes was nearly complete. However, the pre-pandemic plan was for the show to go on hiatus for several months while scripts for the rest of the season was worked on, so this break has now happened earlier, and filming can continue on its original schedule.
Production on the live-action anime adaptation Cowboy Bebop started in the fall last year but was suspended in December after star John Cho had suffered a on-set knee injury. At the time, it was reported that the production shutdown would last “seven to nine months,” so it’s possible it might not have started until now in any case.
The first major movies to resume filming in New Zealand were James Cameron’s Avatar sequels. Cameron recently revealed that live-action filming on Avatar 2 was now finished and he was about “95% complete on Avatar 3.” However, we’ll have to wait a while to see the films. Avatar 2 has been pushed back another year, and will now release in 2022, 13 years after the first movie arrived.
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