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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Linda Hamilton would ‘love to be done’ with Terminator franchise

Linda Hamilton would be happy to “never return” to The Terminator franchise.The 63-year-old reprised her iconic role of Sarah Connor after nearly three decades for 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate, which received strong reviews but disappointed at the box …

Linda Hamilton would be happy to “never return” to The Terminator franchise.

The 63-year-old reprised her iconic role of Sarah Connor after nearly three decades for 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate, which received strong reviews but disappointed at the box office – putting creator James Cameron’s plans for a trilogy in jeopardy.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hamilton admitted she wasn’t hopeful for another instalment and would be fine if one never came to fruition.

“I would really appreciate maybe a smaller version where so many millions are not at stake,” she said. “Today’s audience is just so unpredictable. I can’t tell you how many laymen just go, ‘Well, people don’t go to the movies anymore.’ That’s not Hollywood analysis; that just comes out of almost everybody’s mouth.

“It should definitely not be such a high-risk financial venture, but I would be quite happy to never return. So, no, I am not hopeful because I would really love to be done. But, if there were something new that really spoke to me, I am a logical person, and I will always consider viable changes.”

While promoting the movie, the Dante’s Peak star revealed that she took a lot of convincing from director Tim Miller to return to the franchise for the first time since 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day and joked that she would rather pretend to be dead than play Connor again.

“I’ve been threatening to fake my own death so I wouldn’t have to do the next one if there is one. It really was hard, it was the hardest and the greatest I’ve ever done,” Hamilton laughed on U.K. chat show Lorraine.

Since the film’s release in October, Miller has stated that he would never work with Cameron, who served as a producer, ever again as they clashed over many creative decisions.

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Claire Danes stands by decision to turn down Titanic

Claire Danes has “zero” regrets about turning down one of the lead roles in Titanic.The Homeland actress declined the part of Rose in James Cameron’s historical epic back in 1996 because it felt too familiar after having just starred opposite leading m…

Claire Danes has “zero” regrets about turning down one of the lead roles in Titanic.

The Homeland actress declined the part of Rose in James Cameron’s historical epic back in 1996 because it felt too familiar after having just starred opposite leading man Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet.

The gig eventually went to Kate Winslet, and the historical epic won 11 Oscars in 1998, including a Best Actress nod for the British star.

However, Danes is still pleased she turned down Titanic because she simply wanted a different type of movie to get her teeth into.

“I had just made this romantic epic with Leo in Mexico City, which is where they were going to shoot Titanic!” she said during a sit down with Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast. “And I just didn’t have it in me!”

The 40-year-old then recalled a conversation with DiCaprio as he wrestled with the decision to star in Cameron’s epic.

“He just looked up at me and said, ‘I’m doing it! I’m doing it!'” Danes said. “And I could see he wasn’t sure. But he was like, ‘F**k it, I gotta do this thing.'”

The Golden Globe winner later confessed that she wouldn’t have been able to deal with the huge fame both DiCaprio and Winslet received when the film was released.

“I think I really wasn’t ready for it. And I remember after that movie came out… and he just went into another stratosphere,” she explained. “I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t want it. I was just really clear about it. I wasn’t conflicted.”

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Terminator: Dark Fate director Tim Miller rules out working with James Cameron again

Tim Miller has no plans to work with James Cameron again after the pair butted heads on Terminator: Dark Fate.Cameron, who helmed the original movie back in 1984, serves as a producer on the sixth instalment of the sci-fi action movie saga, which was d…

Tim Miller has no plans to work with James Cameron again after the pair butted heads on Terminator: Dark Fate.

Cameron, who helmed the original movie back in 1984, serves as a producer on the sixth instalment of the sci-fi action movie saga, which was directed by Miller.

And while Oscar-winner Cameron previously expressed an interest in turning the revived movie into part of a trilogy, Miller told California-based KCRW radio he wouldn’t work with the filmmaker again.

“It has nothing to do with whatever trauma I have from the experience, it’s more that I just don’t want to be in a situation again where I don’t have the control to do what I think is right,” he clarified. “Even though Jim is a producer and David Ellison is a producer and they technically have final cut and ultimate power, my name is still on it as director.

“Even if I’m going to lose the fight… I still feel this obligation to fight because that is what the director is supposed to do. Fight for the movie.”

Though the Avatar director previously told Cinema Blend “the blood is still being scrubbed off the walls” from their creative battles, he reached out to Miller to extend an olive branch when work on the flick was completed.

“I just got an email last week from Jim, who said, ‘I know we clashed a little bit. I put it all down to two strong, creative people with differences of opinion and I think it made the movie better,'” the Deadpool helmer recalled.

Terminator: Dark Fate, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and Mackenzie Davis, had a disappointing opening week, but still managed to top the North American box office when it debuted in theatres back in October.

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James Cameron sent Linda Hamilton ‘very long’ email asking her to star in Dark Fate

James Cameron sent Linda Hamilton a three-page email asking her to reprise her role as Sarah Connor in Terminator: Dark Fate.The actress appeared in 1984’s The Terminator and 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, also starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the…

James Cameron sent Linda Hamilton a three-page email asking her to reprise her role as Sarah Connor in Terminator: Dark Fate.

The actress appeared in 1984’s The Terminator and 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, also starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the time-travelling robot assassin, and is now portraying the character once again in the latest movie, the sixth instalment in the franchise.

However, in a chat with Collider.com, Cameron – the director and producer of the first two films – explained that he had to do quite a lot of convincing to get Hamilton back on board.

“I sent her a very, very long email. It was about three and a half pages, half of which was devoted to why she shouldn’t do the film, and half of which was devoted to why she should do the film. We all know the reasons why she should. We love the character. It’s been often attempted, but never succeeded, and I don’t just mean other incarnations of Sarah,” he commented, adding that he was pleased to present his former wife, whom he was married to from 1997 until 1999, with both sides of the argument. “By balancing it, I think I gave her permission to say no without offending anybody. I think that allowed her to make her own decision. And if you know Linda, you know that it would have to be her decision. And fortunately, we got a great return to the big screen for Sarah out of that.”

Meanwhile, in a recent chat on U.K. TV chat show Lorraine, Hamilton joked that she would rather pretend to be dead than play Connor again.

“I’ve been threatening to fake my own death so I wouldn’t have to do the next one if there is one. It really was hard, it was the hardest and the greatest I’ve ever done,” she laughed.

Terminator: Dark Fate, directed by Tim Miller, is in cinemas now.

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Linda Hamilton needed ‘new bottom’ due to Terminator weight loss

Linda Hamilton lost so much weight to star in Terminator: Dark Fate producers had to “build” her a bottom.The 63-year-old actress returned to the franchise for the first time since 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and underwent intensive training to …

Linda Hamilton lost so much weight to star in Terminator: Dark Fate producers had to “build” her a bottom.

The 63-year-old actress returned to the franchise for the first time since 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and underwent intensive training to reprise her iconic role as Sarah Connor in the new movie.

However, the training and strict diet left her so thin she needed her butt built back up to a normal size when she turned up to filming.

“There were no carbs in my life for a year. I got so lean, when I arrived they had to build me a butt,” Linda told British morning show host Lorraine Kelly. “They added bottom, something you don’t ever see coming, who wants more bottom, but apparently… I shouldn’t give my secrets away!”

Discussing how she prepared for the new movie, in which she stars alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda revealed: “Time off was military training, Spanish lessons, scuba, we had to do it all. There was never a moment we weren’t learning something or acting.”

In fact, the star found filming the movie so tough that she joked she might have to resort to extreme measures to duck out of franchise creator James Cameron’s planned sequels.

“I’ve been threatening to fake my own death so I wouldn’t have to do the next one if there is one. It really was hard, it was the hardest and the greatest I’ve ever done,” she quipped.

Terminator: Dark Fate debuts in cinemas on 23 October.

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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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James Cameron refused to return to Terminator: Dark Fate without Arnold Schwarzenegger

James Cameron made it clear to studio bosses that he would only be involved in Terminator: Dark Fate if Arnold Schwarzenegger was on board.The Oscar-winning director, who helmed the original movie back in 1984, serves as a producer on the sixth instalm…

James Cameron made it clear to studio bosses that he would only be involved in Terminator: Dark Fate if Arnold Schwarzenegger was on board.

The Oscar-winning director, who helmed the original movie back in 1984, serves as a producer on the sixth instalment of the sci-fi action movie saga.

However, Cameron has confessed in a now-deleted video interview for Flicks and the City that he originally refused to even contemplate going back to the Terminator series without the Austrian-American actor.

“I said, ‘Look I’d love to be involved in this, but I can’t be involved in a Terminator movie without working with my good friend of 35 years, Arnold Schwarzenegger, even if it’s to officially pass the baton to a new generation of characters,'” Cameron commented, according to Cinemablend.com. “So that’s what we all agreed to do. Then the question became, ‘What about Linda (Hamilton), does Linda want to come back?'”

Hamilton is also reprising her role as Sarah Connor, alongside Schwarzenegger who is back as the cyborg assassin disguised as a human.

Deadpool’s Tim Miller is handling directing duties for the movie, which is due to begin hitting cinemas in late October.

Cameron also hinted that if the 62-year-old actress hadn’t wanted to reprise Connor, then her character wouldn’t have been included in Terminator: Dark Fate.

The movie will be the first time since 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day that Cameron, Schwarzenegger, and Hamilton have worked together on the franchise.

Dark Fate is reportedly a direct sequel to the first two Terminator movies, with the entries in between – including Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation and Terminator Genisys – having occurred in different timelines.

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Disney bosses committed to three more Star Wars films

Disney bosses are planning another three-film dip into George Lucas’ Star Wars universe. Studio officials have just released information about their future blockbusters and the slate includes another Star Wars trilogy, which will follow J.J. Abrams’ T…

Disney bosses are planning another three-film dip into George Lucas’ Star Wars universe.

Studio officials have just released information about their future blockbusters and the slate includes another Star Wars trilogy, which will follow J.J. Abrams’ The Rise of Skywalker. The latest Star Wars film, set for release later this year (19), wraps up the third trilogy of the franchise, which began in 1977 with A New Hope.

The new Star Wars films, which will be spread out over several years and conclude in 2026, remain untitled and there have been no details released about plot and characters.

Abrams revealed his upcoming Star Wars film, which will hit cinemas on 20 December, will be titled The Rise of Skywalker at a fan convention in Chicago, Illinois last month (Apr19).

Meanwhile, the release of the new Fox-Disney slate will dishearten Avatar fans as James Cameron’s much-anticipated sequel to his 2009 movie has been pushed back a year and will now open in cinemas in December, 2021.

Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story adaptation will debut on 18 December, 2020, while Brad Pitt’s Ad Astra and Kenneth Branagh’s Artemis Fowl now have set launch dates after both being pushed back.

Ad Astra, in which Pitt plays an astronaut searching for his missing father, will now open on 20 September (19) and Disney’s adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s novel Artemis Fowl will debut on 29 May, 2020.

There are also set dates for Ford V. Ferrari (15Nov19) and Disney’s Maleficent sequel, Mistress of Evil (Halloween week, 2019).

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