Avatar 2 has received endless praise (not least in our own Avatar 2 review) for its stunning visuals. And that raises the question: where was Avatar 2 filmed? Avatar 2, titled Avatar: The Way of Water is a sequel to the ground-breaking 2009 science fiction movie, which reshaped the way that movies could look.
Both of the adventure movies utilise a blend of practical and computer generated effects to create the world of Pandora and its inhabitants. They also use motion-tracking to map the performances of the Avatar 2 cast members into the movie, using the same (but updated) technology that helped to bring Gollum into the Lord of the Rings movies.
But what’s the backdrop of all this? Was Avatar 2 filmed on a soundstage or on location? Are any of the backgrounds that we see in Pandora actually real locations? Let’s find out with our guide to the Avatar 2 filming locations.
Where was Avatar 2 filmed?
Avatar 2 was filmed across various locations, depending on what was being shot and what type of technology was being used. The motion-capture performances by the actors to bring the Na’vi to life were all shot in the US, specifically on Manhattan Beach, California. This was also where some underwater scenes were filmed, with the actors still being in motion-capture suits for this.
The live-action elements of Avatar 2, which are integrated into the movie, were shot far away from the US, however. These live-action components were filmed in New Zealand, which is a popular destination as a filming location for big-budget movies and TV series. Visual effects work for the movie also continued in New Zealand, in Weta Studios in Wellington.
Alongside filming Avatar 2, Avatar 3 was also shot at the same time. This means that the movie will share the same filming locations as Avatar 2.
For more on Avatar 2, check out our many guides on the new movie, including: how much Avatar 2 cost to make, does Avatar 2 have a post-credit scene, and everything you need to know before watching Avatar 2. We also have a guide to the Avatar 3 release date.