Avatar sequels to resume production despite coronavirus

Annie Lord

The Avatar sequels are among the first major studio movies to resume production since the onset of the coronavirus.

Producer Jon Landau tweeted a photo from the set of Avatar 2, which shows some big boats along with a message about how some cast members will be returning to set in New Zealand “next week”.

The four bew sequels are costing 20th Century Fox, which was bought by Disney in 2018, more than $1bn (£808m), making Avatar the first film series to require this much money up front.

The original Avatar film, which starred Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver, is the second highest-grossing film of all time, having raked in £2.25bn ($2.78bn) at the global box office.

In the new picture, directed again by James Cameron, stars from the first film – Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana – are joined by Kate Winslet and Cliff Curtis as they film in a water tank for Avatar 2.

Much of the new Avatar adventures will take place underwater in the mythical world of Pandora, with Cameron attributing the series’ delay to working out how to effectively use underwater motion-capture technology. The first sequel was originally scheduled for release in 2014, but now won’t be released until December 2021.

In February, Landau revealed that Winslet, who had previously worked with Cameron on 1997’s Titanic, had to hold her breath underwater for seven minutes while shooting.

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