Avatar mastermind James Cameron believes that the coronavirus pandemic will not affect the release of next year's sequel.
The original 2009 fantasy blockbuster smashed Cameron's own box office record from his Titanic days, becoming the highest grossing movie of all-time (until the release of Avengers: Endgame).
His Avatar follow-up was pencilled in for a December 2020 release initially, but now we'll return to the eye-popping planet of Pandora next year instead.
Chatting to Empire from his Malibu home in lockdown, the legendary filmmaker discussed how the coronavirus is "putting a major crimp in our stride" as the Avatar 2 team are desperate to kick on with production.
"It's all on hold right now," he explained. "We were about to shoot down in New Zealand, so that got pushed. We're trying to get back to it as quick as we can.
"On the bright side, New Zealand seems to have been very effective in controlling the virus and their goal is not mitigation, but eradication, which they believe that they can do with aggressive contact tracing and testing."
Cameron added: "There's a very good chance that our shoot might be delayed a couple of months, but we can still do it. So that's good news."
Echoing what producer Jon Landau said earlier this year, he also confirmed that the likes of Weta Digital and Lightstorm Entertainment continue to work on the VFX aspects of the movie, despite the pandemic.
Avatar is now available to watch on services including Disney+ and Amazon Prime. Avatar 2 will be released on December 17, 2021 in US and UK cinemas, with Avatar 3, Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 expected to follow in December 2023, December 2025 and December 2027 respectively.
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