Top Gun: Maverick and A Quiet Place Part II pushed to 2021

Top Gun: Maverick and A Quiet Place Part II have been postponed until 2021. Throughout this week, there has been a wave of release date announcements, with Christoper Nolan’s Tenet and Disney’s live-action Mulan, which had both been scheduled to open …

Top Gun: Maverick and A Quiet Place Part II have been postponed until 2021.

Throughout this week, there has been a wave of release date announcements, with Christoper Nolan’s Tenet and Disney’s live-action Mulan, which had both been scheduled to open in August, being removed from the release calendar indefinitely, and Star Wars movies and Avatar sequels being pushed back by a year.

On Thursday, Paramount executives followed suit and postponed two of their blockbusters until next year. Tom Cruise’s long-awaited Top Gun sequel has been moved from December 2020 to July 2021, while John Krasinski’s horror sequel, starring Emily Blunt, has been bumped from September 2020 to April 2021.

“We truly believe that there is no movie-viewing experience like the one enjoyed in theatres,” said Paramount’s president of domestic distribution Chris Aronson and president of international theatrical distribution Mark Viane in a statement. “We are committed to the theatrical experience and our exhibition partners, and want to stress that we are confident that, when the time comes, audiences everywhere will once again enjoy the singular joy of seeing Paramount films on the big screen.”

A Quiet Place Part II was originally set to open in March, just days before the coronavirus pandemic truly struck in the West, and it was subsequently given a new September date. Top Gun was initially set to be released this June before it was pushed to December.

In addition, Sony announced that they were delaying the release of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man sequel by one month so it would open on 17 December 2021, a date previously occupied by Avatar 2, which pushed back a year on Thursday. The change is currently only for Sony’s domestic U.S. calendar.

While cinemas have reopened in many parts of the world, chains in the U.S. remain closed due to a recent spike in coronavirus cases, and it is unlikely studio blockbusters will be released until all markets are back open.

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Disney delays Mulan, Avatar sequels and Star Wars trilogy

Disney has announced further delays to the release of Mulan and the Avatar sequels.The live-action Mulan remake, starring Yifei Liu and directed by Niki Caro, was scheduled to premiere in North America on 21 August, after previously being pushed back f…

Disney has announced further delays to the release of Mulan and the Avatar sequels.

The live-action Mulan remake, starring Yifei Liu and directed by Niki Caro, was scheduled to premiere in North America on 21 August, after previously being pushed back from July. However, with many cinemas remaining closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the decision has been made to pull the movie from the release schedule indefinitely.

The upcoming four Avatar sequels will also be delayed by a year, beginning with Avatar 2, which will now hit cinemas in December 2022.

Director James Cameron, who recently arrived back on the Avatar set in New Zealand to resume filming, has taken to Instagram to voice his thoughts on the postponement.

“There is no one more disappointed about this delay than me,” he wrote on the official Avatar account. “But I am buoyed by the incredible performances of our cast and the extraordinary work that Weta Digital is doing bringing the world of Pandora and the characters of the film to life.

“Most of all, I am grateful to you, our fans, for your support over the years and I promise that what we bring to cinemas will deliver.”

Cameron then ended his message by writing “thank you” in Na’vi, the language spoken by the inhabitants of the fictional moon Pandora in the movie.

Avatar 3 was previously slated for a December 2023 release, but that has now been changed to 2024, while Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 have been pushed to December 2027 and 2028 respectively.

Taika Waititi’s untitled Star Wars trilogy has also been rescheduled, with the first film in the series now due to hit theatres on 22 December 2023 – a year later than previously planned. The second and third movies are now slated for a 2025 and 2027 release.

On Thursday, Disney executives also removed Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch from their release calendar. The comedy was originally planned to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, before it was cancelled, and most recently had a release date of October.

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David Thewlis felt out of his depth shooting Avatar 2

David Thewlis felt “like a newcomer” filming Avatar 2 because he wasn’t used to working with motion capture technology. The Harry Potter actor was classically trained at stage school and has been working in film for more than 30 years, but all his exp…

David Thewlis felt “like a newcomer” filming Avatar 2 because he wasn’t used to working with motion capture technology.

The Harry Potter actor was classically trained at stage school and has been working in film for more than 30 years, but all his experience went out the window when he arrived to shoot the performance capture portion of James Cameron’s Avatar sequel in 2018 because he had no idea what he was doing.

“For the first time, I felt like a total newcomer, like it was my first job,” he told Total Film magazine. “I was on set having been working for 35 years on film sets and I was like, ‘So what do we do? What’s that doing here? Why is he doing that? Do we do it now?’ I felt very naive. And of course, I was, because none of the rules applied from everything I’ve learned.”

Cameron and his team had to develop brand-new technology that could blend underwater filming and performance capture as the majority of Avatar 2 is set underwater.

And Thewlis, who is playing an unknown member of the Na’vi race, admitted he is clueless about what he will look like in the finished product.

“I’ve got no idea what my scenes will be like because there are about 16 guys in the room with video cameras but they’re just shooting reference shots for Jim (Cameron) to look at later,” the 57-year-old said. “What those guys are shooting will never be on the screen, what’s being shot is obviously on these sensors… I’m fascinated to see how I’m going to look, because they sort of make them look a bit like oneself. It’s fantastic!”

The motion capture segment was completed at the end of 2018, and the live-action scenes were due to be shot in New Zealand this spring, but production was halted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier this week, Cameron and producer Jon Landau announced they had arrived in the country to begin filming, following a two-week quarantine period.

Thewlis, Kate Winslet, and Vin Diesel are new additions to the franchise, which features Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver. Avatar 2 is still scheduled to hit cinemas in December 2021.

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James Cameron back in New Zealand to resume filming Avatar sequels

James Cameron has landed back in New Zealand to resume filming his Avatar sequels.The director, along with producer Jon Landau, arrived in the country to restart production, and the pair will now have to complete a mandatory 14-day government supervise…

James Cameron has landed back in New Zealand to resume filming his Avatar sequels.

The director, along with producer Jon Landau, arrived in the country to restart production, and the pair will now have to complete a mandatory 14-day government supervised quarantine.

“Made it to New Zealand. Our 14-day government supervised self-isolation now begins,” Landau captioned a photo on Twitter, which features him and Cameron wearing face masks and plastic visors as they departed the plane after the 13-hour flight.

Filming on the back-to-back sequels was halted in March amid the growing coronavirus pandemic, with the cast and crew sent home indefinitely as restrictions were imposed on countries around the world to stop the spread of the virus.

According to Variety, Cameron was able to negotiate his entry into the country – while the borders are still closed to almost all foreign travellers – because he used a border exemption clause for foreigners considered of “significant economic value”.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been praised for her swift response to the virus, with cases of infection barely over 1,000 and just 22 deaths.

Landau told local news website RNZ that he and Cameron were looking forward to going back to work in New Zealand because of the efforts taken to curb the spread of the virus.

“So we feel we’re coming back to the safest place in the world possible thanks to a team of people that we’ve worked with. We believe we have a very thoughtful, detailed and diligent safety plan that will keep everybody as safe as possible in these unprecedented times,” he explained.

Avatar 2 is set for release in December 2021.

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Avatar cast and crew returning to New Zealand to resume filming

The cast and crew of James Cameron’s Avatar sequels are heading back to New Zealand to resume filming.Production on the movies, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver, was shut down indefinitely in March due to the ongoing coronavi…

The cast and crew of James Cameron’s Avatar sequels are heading back to New Zealand to resume filming.

Production on the movies, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver, was shut down indefinitely in March due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

And as producer Jon Landau took to social media on Thursday to reveal a new image of water vessels used in the movie, he confirmed that filming would begin again later this month.

“Our Avatar sets are ready – and we couldn’t be more excited to be headed back to New Zealand next week,” he wrote. “Check out the Matador, a high-speed forward command vessel (bottom) and the Picador jetboat (top) – can’t wait to share more.”

The Avatar sequels will be the first major films to resume production after almost all Hollywood movies were shut down in an effort to stop the spread of the virus, which has infected more than five million people worldwide since the outbreak began in December.

Filming the latest instalments in the sci-fi fantasy drama had alternated between studios in Auckland and Wellington, according to editors at Variety.

Staff at visual effects firm Weta Digital, which is based in Wellington, continued to work on the sequels during the shutdown.

Avatar 2, which also features Kate Winslet, Vin Diesel, David Thewlis, and Michelle Yeoh, is due to be released in December 2021, with three more sequels slated to hit cinemas in 2023, 2025, and 2027.

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James Cameron remains hopeful Avatar 2 will be released in December 2021

James Cameron is hopeful Avatar 2 will be ready for release in December 2021 despite the coronavirus pandemic delaying production. The Terminator director has been working on follow-ups to the 2009 sci-fi movie for the past few years and completed the…

James Cameron is hopeful Avatar 2 will be ready for release in December 2021 despite the coronavirus pandemic delaying production.

The Terminator director has been working on follow-ups to the 2009 sci-fi movie for the past few years and completed the motion capture portion of production on Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 last year. He was about to fly to New Zealand to shoot the live-action scenes when the coronavirus pandemic hit and production was shut down.

However, despite the setback, Cameron is optimistic he can still make the film’s scheduled cinema release of 17 December 2021.

“It’s putting a major crimp in our stride here,” he told Empire magazine. “I want to get back to work on Avatar, which right now we’re not allowed to do under state emergency laws or rules. So, it’s all on hold right now. 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. There’s a very good chance that our shoot might be delayed a couple of months, but we can still (release it on schedule). So that’s good news.”

Cameron added that digital effects teams are continuing to work on the feature from home, while he has been able to do some editing.

Fortunately for the filmmaker, officials at the New Zealand Film Commission recently announced that productions in the country would be allowed to start filming again this month given the reduced spread of Covid-19.

Original Avatar stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver are all set to return for the sequel, while new additions include Kate Winslet and Vin Diesel.

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James Cameron suspends production on Avatar sequels

James Cameron has suspended production on his Avatar sequels in New Zealand.The global Covid-19 pandemic has forced the Oscar-winning director to halt filming indefinitely, producer Jon Landau confirmed to the New Zealand Herald.Landau said they were d…

James Cameron has suspended production on his Avatar sequels in New Zealand.

The global Covid-19 pandemic has forced the Oscar-winning director to halt filming indefinitely, producer Jon Landau confirmed to the New Zealand Herald.

Landau said they were due to shoot footage for the four sequels to the 2009 sci-fi movie at Stone Street Studios in the city of Wellington next month, but have decided to stay in Los Angeles instead.

“We’ve delayed it. We had plans to come down Friday night with a group of people and start back up, and we made the decision to hold off and continue working here (in Los Angeles), and come down there a little bit later than we’d planned,” Landau said.

“We’re in the midst of a global crisis and this is not about the film industry. I think everybody needs to do now whatever we can do, as we say here, to flatten the curve.”

Staff at visual effects firm Weta Digital, which is based in Wellington, will continue to work on the sequels during the shutdown.

It’s not yet known when filming will start up again, but Landau insisted he and Cameron are assessing the production schedule “everyday, because that’s how quickly things change.”

“We try and monitor all this and look at things and think about what is in the best interest of our crew. I call it our Avatar family. That is really paramount to us above anything,” he explained.

Avatar 2, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Kate Winslet, and Sigourney Weaver, is due to be released in December 2021, with three more sequels slated to hit cinemas in 2023, 2025, and 2027.

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Matt Damon turned down $250 million Avatar role

Matt Damon is still wrestling with his decision not to accept a role in Avatar, one of the highest-grossing films of all time.The Oscar winner has revealed he was approached by Titanic filmmaker James Cameron and asked to lead the 2009 blockbuster, but…

Matt Damon is still wrestling with his decision not to accept a role in Avatar, one of the highest-grossing films of all time.

The Oscar winner has revealed he was approached by Titanic filmmaker James Cameron and asked to lead the 2009 blockbuster, but he said no.

Damon was also offered a 10 ten per cent cut of the film’s gross, which would have netted him roughly $250 million (£200 million).

“Jim Cameron offered me Avatar,” Damon told GQ magazine. “And when he offered it to me, he goes, ‘Now, listen. I don’t need anybody. I don’t need a name for this, a named actor. If you don’t take this, I’m gonna find an unknown actor and give it to him, because the movie doesn’t really need you. But if you take the part, I’ll give you 10 per cent of (profits).

“I told (pal) John Krasinski this story when we were writing Promised Land… and he goes, ‘If you had done that movie, nothing in your life would be different. Nothing in your life would be different at all. Except that, right now, we would be having this conversation in space’… I’ve left more money on the table than any actor actually.”

Damon explained that he chose to stick with his commitment to The Bourne Identity franchise instead of shooting Avatar, and still regrets not having the chance to collaborate with the iconic director.

“It would have caused a problem for Paul Greengrass and for all my friends on The Bourne Ultimatum, so I couldn’t do it,” he added. “Cameron said to me…, ‘Well, you know, I’ve only made six movies’. I didn’t realise that. He works so infrequently, but his movies, you know all of them. So it feels like he’s made more than he has. I realised, in having to say no, that I was probably passing on the chance to ever work with him. So that sucked and that’s still brutal. But my kids are all eating. I’m doing OK.”

The lead role in the fantasy epic ultimately went to Australian actor Sam Worthington.

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James Cameron praises Marvel after Avengers: Endgame becomes biggest movie of all time

James Cameron has congratulated Marvel bosses for beating his movie Avatar’s box office record with Avengers: Endgame. Over the weekend, it was confirmed that the Marvel superhero epic, starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans, had …

James Cameron has congratulated Marvel bosses for beating his movie Avatar’s box office record with Avengers: Endgame.

Over the weekend, it was confirmed that the Marvel superhero epic, starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans, had beaten Cameron’s 2009 movie to become the highest-grossing of all time, making more than Avatar’s $2.78 billion global box office takings in just 13 weeks.

Showing he was a good sport about his 10-year reign on top coming to an end, Cameron offered up his congratulations via Avatar’s official Twitter account on Monday.

“Oel ngati kameie (I see you), I see you Marvel – Congratulations to Avengers Endgame on becoming the new box-office King,” the message read, quoting the language used by Avatar characters, the Na’vi – the blue-skinned species who inhabit the fictional world of Pandora.

The message was accompanied by an image showing Iron Man surrounded by woodsprites, the jellyfish-looking seeds from the Tree of Souls of Pandora. The seeds are sacred spirits which are planted with the body of a deceased Na’vi, which is fitting as Iron Man / Tony Stark sacrificed himself to beat Thanos and his army at the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame.

Cameron previously saluted Marvel bosses for Endgame’s box office performance back in May, when it beat his 1997 disaster movie Titanic’s record to become the second highest-grossing movie ever.

“An iceberg sank the real Titanic,” he wrote. “It took the Avengers to sink my Titanic. Everyone here at (Cameron’s production company) Lightstorm Entertainment salutes your amazing achievement. You’ve down that the movie industry is not only alive and well. It’s bigger than ever!”

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Avengers: Endgame passes Avatar to become biggest film of all time

Avengers: Endgame has topped Avatar to become the highest-grossing film of all time.Marvel boss Kevin Feige made the news official at the studio’s Comic-Con panel in San Diego, California on Saturday, announcing the blockbuster would pass Avatar’s $2.7…

Avengers: Endgame has topped Avatar to become the highest-grossing film of all time.

Marvel boss Kevin Feige made the news official at the studio’s Comic-Con panel in San Diego, California on Saturday, announcing the blockbuster would pass Avatar’s $2.78 billion global box office mark over the weekend, ending the James Cameron-directed movie’s nine-year reign.

“Thanks to you, Avengers: Endgame is the biggest film of all-time,” Feige told fans in Comic-Con’s fabled Hall H.

While Avengers: Endgame co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo took to Twitter to share a similar sentiment.

“To the greatest fans in the universe, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you…,” they commented.

Avengers: Endgame, featuring an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, and Brie Larson, follows the surviving members of the Avengers and their allies as they attempt to reverse the damage caused by Thanos, as played by Josh Brolin, in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War.

The blockbuster has passed Avatar’s record in just 13 weeks, and in a statement, Alan Horn, co-chairman and chief creative officer of Marvel’s parent company, The Walt Disney Studios, praised the cast and crew for their achievements.

“A huge congratulations to the Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios teams, and thank you to the fans around the world who lifted Avengers: Endgame to these historic heights,” he commented. “Of course, even with the passage of a decade, the impact of James Cameron’s Avatar remains as powerful as ever, and the astonishing achievements of both of these films are ongoing proof of the power of movies to move people and bring them together in a shared experience. The talented filmmakers behind these worlds have much more in store, and we look forward to the future of both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and (Avatar’s setting) Pandora.”

Bosses at Disney are also celebrating another record-breaking weekend in North America, as The Lion King has roared to the top of the box office to become the biggest July opening of all time.

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