The follow-up to the blockbuster hit Avatar will start production in New Zealand this year.

Director James Cameron is set to start filming the first of three Avatar sequels in April, which are scheduled to be released one year after the other.

The first sequel was supposed to come out in cinemas later this year, but delays have forced the release date to the end of 2017.

According to My Entertainment World, the film will start shooting in California's Manhattan Beach and New Zealand.

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The website also reveals the premise for the film, saying "Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) permanently transfers his consciousness to his Na'vi avatar and begins a new life with Princess Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) after they defeat the human colonisers."

The original Avatar became the highest-grossing film ever after it hit cinemas in 2009, earning nearly $2.8 billion (NZ$4.28 billion) worldwide.

It also won three Oscars in technical categories, out of the nine nominations it received.

- nzherald.co.nz