New Zealand has been the staging ground for Peter Jackson to bring Tolkien’s Middle-Earth to life, and now director James Cameron is following suit. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the three Avatar sequels will be filmed in the country following a deal reached between the New Zealand government, Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, and Twentieth-Century Fox. The deal is reported to be worth NZ$500 million ($412 million USD), and follows after penning a memorandum of understanding which basically outlines the symbiotic relationship between the government and the filmmaker. The memorandum listed the incentives that Cameron and Twentieth-Century Fox will receive in exchange for advertising New Zealand through promotions and special DVD features. The live action crew for the films will be made up of a roughly 90% New Zealander work-force. It also calls for supporting an internship program.
Cameron stated, “We had such a wonderful experience here making the first film, and obviously the result of all of the talent in New Zealand speaks for itself. It’s a great pleasure for us to recreate that winning combination,” and also called it a “historic day” for the franchise. The first of the Avatar sequels is slated for release in December 2016.
Over at Sony Electronics, The Verge reports that company president and COO Phil Molyneux is stepping down from his position and moving into an advisory role. The announcement was released by Sony CEO Kaz Hirai, and that a current executive vice president for Sony, Michael Fasulo, will be taking over the reigns for Molyneux, with general manger of marketing Toshifumi Okuda stepping into Fasulo’s role. Molyneux began his career with Sony 23 years ago, and became president and COO of Sony Electronics in 2010. Hirai noted Molyneux’s “passionate commitment to the employees he led for the past three-plus years,” and Hirai also thanked Molyneux for his years of service.
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