Kate Winslet appears in the latest behind-the-scenes glimpse at the production of James Cameron’s ambitious Avatar sequels.
Cameron remains hard at work on the movies, despite the coronavirus pandemic shutting down production in New Zealand.
Winslet is pictured in performance capture gear while shooting underwater scenes alongside Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Cliff Curtis.
Worthington and Saldana are returning as the lead characters from the 2009 first movie, while franchise newcomer Winslet plays Ronal — a member of the Metkayina diving clan, led by Curtis’ character.
From the set of the sequels: @ZoeSaldana, Sam Worthington, Kate Winslet, and Cliff Curtis taking a break from underwater performance capture for a quick photo!— Avatar (@officialavatar) May 13, 2020
Fun fact: Much of the performance capture took place in this 900,000 gallon tank, built specifically for the sequels. pic.twitter.com/NSfqoZ6jXJ
Sharing the new image, the Avatar production team tweeted that much of the movie’s filming took place in a 900,000 gallon water tank, built especially for the films.
Cameron and his team created new technology in order to film performance capture underwater — a feat never achieved before.
Read more: Avatar image reveals huge nautical set
The Avatar sequels may currently have their live-action filming on hold — though much of it was completed last year — but Cameron is working hard to meet the release date set for the first of the four planned sequels.
He told Empire the pandemic-induced delay was “putting a major crimp in our stride” in getting the movie finished.
“We've got everybody – everybody at Weta Digital and Lightstorm – working from home to the extent that that is possible,” he added.
Some productions are already beginning to resume in New Zealand, which has majorly limited its number of coronavirus cases, potentially paving the way for Avatar to continue shooting.
Much of the sequels’ plots are under wraps, but colonisers RDA are set to return to Pandora, with Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch somehow involved, despite his death in the first film.
Avatar 2 is due for release in December 2021, with subsequent sequels due in 2023, 2025 and 2027.