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 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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Vin Diesel fighting for Producers Guild of America credit – report

Vin Diesel has reportedly spent years campaigning for a mark of distinction from the Producers Guild of America (PGA) for his work on the Fast and Furious franchise. On Sunday, the action man, who plays Dominic Toretto in the series, wrote a cryptic I…

Vin Diesel has reportedly spent years campaigning for a mark of distinction from the Producers Guild of America (PGA) for his work on the Fast and Furious franchise.

On Sunday, the action man, who plays Dominic Toretto in the series, wrote a cryptic Instagram post in which he told his followers he was “mitigating a war” between Universal Studios, the home of the franchise, and the PGA, a trade association representing film and TV producers, which he dubbed “the prejudice guild of America”.

However, in a new Variety report, sources have claimed the conflict with the PGA is entirely Diesel’s and nothing to do with Universal. They alleged that Diesel, who has a producer credit on every Fast film since the fourth instalment, has attempted to receive the PGA’s mark of distinction – the “p.g.a.” which appears after a name in the film’s end credits – for his work with the franchise, but his attempts and appeals have routinely been denied.

The PGA mark signifies that a producer has been verified as a significant contributor in the production of a single movie following a rigorous vetting process, which bans oral testimony from the person seeking the mark.

Sources tell Variety that Diesel’s contributions to the films as a producer are unclear. Those familiar with multiple Fast productions alleged that he sometimes arrived hours late on major stunt days, wasting time and money – two of a producer’s biggest concerns.

“It is the policy of the Producers Guild not to comment on individual arbitrations. The purpose of the Producers Mark is to protect the integrity of the ‘Produced By’ credit. A panel of experienced producers reviews anonymous firsthand accounts from filmmakers and key crew in order to determine who performed a major portion of the producing functions on a single film,” a PGA spokesperson told the publication in response to the report. Diesel and Universal did not respond to requests for comment.

The 52-year-old has also produced films such as The Chronicles of Riddick, xXx, and The Last Witch Hunter.

Fast & Furious 9 has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and will now be released in April 2021.

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Vin Diesel trying to ‘mitigate a war’ between Universal Studios and Producers Guild

Vin Diesel has claimed he’s trying to “mitigate a war” between Universal Studios and the Producers Guild of America (PGA) in a cryptic social media post.The actor recently uploaded a doctored poster for his upcoming Fast & Furious movie F9, featuring h…

Vin Diesel has claimed he’s trying to “mitigate a war” between Universal Studios and the Producers Guild of America (PGA) in a cryptic social media post.

The actor recently uploaded a doctored poster for his upcoming Fast & Furious movie F9, featuring him and co-star Michelle Rodriguez, with the image edited to resemble a Halloween-style horror movie.

In the caption of the post, Diesel apologised to his fans for not posting much, before delivering a mysterious message about an alleged conflict between Universal and PGA executives.

“Happy creative Sunday everyone… sorry I haven’t posted much lately, I have been trying to mitigate a war between Universal studios and the p.g.a. Prejudice guild of America,” the 52-year-old wrote.

He later edited the caption and it now reads: “Happy creative Sunday everyone… do your best to stay positive during these times.”

The Photoshopped poster was designed by an Instagram user dubbed Mommy Torretto, who specialises in Fast & Furious poster parodies. It was originally posted on 31 October 2019, though Diesel wasn’t clear as to why he chose to share the edit.

The unusual message comes after bosses at Universal Pictures announced in March that F9 will be delayed by nearly an entire year, from 22 May 2020 until 2 April 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Diesel has been a part of the franchise since the beginning, starring in 2001’s The Fast and the Furious. He first served as a producer on 2009’s Fast & Furious and is currently credited as a producer on F9.

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Lamorne Morris thrilled producers kept Kobe Bryant tribute in Bloodshot

Lamorne Morris is thrilled producers agreed to leave a tribute to Kobe Bryant in his new film Bloodshot.In the superhero flick, directed by David S. F. Wilson and starring Vin Diesel as the titular character, Morris takes on the part of Wilfred Wigans….

Lamorne Morris is thrilled producers agreed to leave a tribute to Kobe Bryant in his new film Bloodshot.

In the superhero flick, directed by David S. F. Wilson and starring Vin Diesel as the titular character, Morris takes on the part of Wilfred Wigans.

At one point, Wigans throws a makeshift basketball into a hoop, yelling “Kobe!” as he does so, and while film executives considered cutting the scene following the basketball player’s tragic death at the age of 41 in a helicopter accident in January, the actor is pleased they ultimately decided to keep it.

“I just said, ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea. I think we should definitely honour Kobe that way, because that is what you do when you shoot a shot,'” he recalled in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Elsewhere in the interview, Morris, known for his seven-season stint on TV comedy New Girl, expressed his desire to explore new territory in Hollywood.

“(I) didn’t want to see what other weird roles I could get based off of New Girl. (I) wanted to go out and attack some other things that could showcase some of my strengths,” the 36-year-old shared.

Morris appeared in 2018 dark comedy Game Night and had a cameo in Jumanji: The Next Level before he started work on Bloodshot.

Looking ahead, the star will soon begin promoting Hulu-backed TV show Woke, which also features the likes of Rose McIver, Katt Williams, Cedric the Entertainer, Sam Richardson, and Tony Hale.

“It’s a pretty cool show with a pretty cool group, and I’m really excited about it,” he added.

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Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot getting early digital release

Vin Diesel’s new movie Bloodshot will be made available for digital purchase next week after the coronavirus cut short its theatrical run.Bosses at Sony Pictures announced that they would be releasing the comic book adaptation on digital early due to t…

Vin Diesel’s new movie Bloodshot will be made available for digital purchase next week after the coronavirus cut short its theatrical run.

Bosses at Sony Pictures announced that they would be releasing the comic book adaptation on digital early due to the global pandemic, which led to the widespread closure of movie theatres around the world just days after Bloodshot was released in cinemas on Friday.

Bloodshot will now be available to purchase on 24 March for $19.99 (£17.30), which will help the studio recoup some of its losses following an expensive marketing campaign and a lacklustre opening weekend, during which it took only $24 million (£20.7 million) against a $45 million (£38.9 million) budget.

“Sony Pictures is firmly committed to theatrical exhibition and we support windowing,” Sony chief Tom Rothman said in a statement on Wednesday. “This is a unique and exceedingly rare circumstance where theaters have been required to close nationwide for the greater good and Bloodshot is abruptly unavailable in any medium.

“Audiences will now have the chance to own Bloodshot right away and see it at home, where we are all spending more time. We are confident that – like other businesses hit hard by the virus – movie theaters will bounce back strongly, and we will be there to support them.”

In the movie, Diesel plays Ray Garrison, a former Marine who is assassinated and then brought back to life as a biotech killing machine by a team of scientists who want to use him as a weapon.

The news comes after it was announced Universal Pictures’ upcoming animated sequel Trolls World Tour will be released on home entertainment and cinemas on 10 April.

The studio is also going to make films which were already released in cinemas, such as horrors The Hunt, The Invisible Man, and period drama Emma, available to rent on-demand from Friday.

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Vin Diesel: ‘Steven Spielberg wants me to direct more movies’

Steven Spielberg has encouraged Vin Diesel to do more directing.The 52-year-old is best known for his acting roles in blockbuster action films such as The Chronicles of Riddick, xXx, and the Fast & Furious franchise, but Diesel is keen to make the move…

Steven Spielberg has encouraged Vin Diesel to do more directing.

The 52-year-old is best known for his acting roles in blockbuster action films such as The Chronicles of Riddick, xXx, and the Fast & Furious franchise, but Diesel is keen to make the move to behind the camera once again.

The actor has only directed one feature-length film, the 1997 drama Strays, which he wrote, directed and starred in, as well as a short called Multi-Facial, and an episode of the Amazon Prime comedy series, The Ropes.

However, Spielberg, who worked with Diesel on Oscar-winning historical epic Saving Private Ryan back in 1998, recently made him realise he hasn’t done enough directing.

“I saw him recently, and he had said to me, ‘When I wrote the role for you in Saving Private Ryan, I was obviously employing the actor, but I was also secretly championing the director in you, and you have not directed enough. That is a crime of cinema and you must get back in the directing chair,'” he told The National. “I haven’t directed enough.”

Diesel also revealed that it was his work on the 1995 short film Multi-Facial, which he wrote, directed, produced and starred in, which caught the attention of Spielberg and helped him land the role of Private Adrian Caparzo in the 1998 war drama, which also starred Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Edward Burns, and Giovanni Ribisi. It went on to win five Oscars, with Spielberg scooping the Best Director honour for the second time.

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Vin Diesel calls Paul Walker’s final Furious 7 scene ‘best moment in cinematic history’

Vin Diesel considers his final scene with Paul Walker in Furious 7 to be “the best moment in cinematic history”. Walker, who played Brian O’Conner in the action franchise, died in a car crash in 2013 while in the middle of making the 2015 movie. Produ…

Vin Diesel considers his final scene with Paul Walker in Furious 7 to be “the best moment in cinematic history”.

Walker, who played Brian O’Conner in the action franchise, died in a car crash in 2013 while in the middle of making the 2015 movie.

Production was delayed so the script could be rewritten and filming was eventually completed using his brothers as stand-ins, with Walker’s final scene showing him having one last ride with Diesel’s Dominic Toretto before the road splits and they go their separate ways.

In an interview with NME, Diesel shared how he didn’t want to return to the production after the tragedy but was determined to make sure his friend bowed out of the franchise in a classy way.

“I didn’t want anyone to use the tragedy as a story plot,” he said. “It was so important to me… It was a very, very tough moment. But there was some solace in the fact that we were able to protect from the natural whim of a producer or anyone to say, ‘Well now you’re going to go avenge the character,’ and use it as a plot and we were able to do something so beautiful and so classy.

“It might be the best moment in cinematic history. Not just in my career but in cinematic history. Men around the world – everyone was able to cry – but men around the planet for the first time in history were able to cry together.”

He also recalled how movie executives offered him the opportunity to not return to the film as he was “so broken” by Walker’s death.

“I was so reluctant to go back to filming. I just felt like the studio was asking me to go back to a funeral and I was so, so, so, so broken by it,” the 52-year-old admitted.

Furious 7 remains the most successful instalment of the franchise, and is currently the ninth highest-grossing movie of all-time.

Diesel had been gearing up to promote Fast & Furious 9 but the release has been pushed back a year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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Fast & Furious 9 release delayed by a year due to coronavirus

The release of Fast & Furious 9 has been pushed back by almost a year due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. Executives at Universal, the company behind the high-octane action franchise, made the decision to move its release from May on Thursd…

The release of Fast & Furious 9 has been pushed back by almost a year due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

Executives at Universal, the company behind the high-octane action franchise, made the decision to move its release from May on Thursday because of the impact that the escalating coronavirus is having on the film distribution landscape, with cinemas being closed in certain countries to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In a statement issued on the film’s social media pages, the “Fast Family” announced the movie would now be released in U.S. on 2 April 2021, with a global release that month.

“We feel all the love and the anticipation you have for the next chapter in our saga,” the message read. “That’s why it’s especially tough to let you know that we have to move the release date of the film. It’s become clear that it won’t be possible for all of our fans around the world to see the film this May.

“While we know there is disappointment in having to wait a little while longer, this move is made with the safety of everyone as our foremost consideration. Moving will allow our global family to experience our new chapter together. We’ll see you next spring.”

The announcement came hours after John Krasinski confirmed his upcoming horror sequel, A Quiet Place Part II, which was due to be released next week, had been postponed for the same reason. A new release date is not yet known.

“One of the things I’m most proud of is that people have said our movie is one you have to see all together,” he wrote on social media. “Well due to the ever-changing circumstances of what’s going on in the world around us, now is clearly not the right time to do that. As insanely excited as we are for all of you to see this movie… I’m gonna wait to release the film till we CAN all see it together! So here’s to our group movie date! See you soon!”

Thursday was a big night for movie news, with Disney also postponing the upcoming releases of Mulan, The New Mutants, and Antlers. James Bond movie, No Time to Die, was recently pushed back by six months due to the pandemic, meaning the next big studio release is Trolls: World Tour on 10 April.

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Vin Diesel’s son encouraged him to star in Bloodshot

Vin Diesel’s son convinced him to take on the role of a super soldier in Bloodshot.In the upcoming action feature, the actor plays Ray Garrison, a former Marine who is assassinated and then brought back to life as a biotech killing machine by a team of…

Vin Diesel’s son convinced him to take on the role of a super soldier in Bloodshot.

In the upcoming action feature, the actor plays Ray Garrison, a former Marine who is assassinated and then brought back to life as a biotech killing machine by a team of scientists who want to use him as a weapon.

Speaking to Variety about the project, Diesel revealed that his nine-year-old son Vincent not only encouraged him to accept the role of the Valiant Comics’ character in the blockbuster but was also responsible for him voicing Groot in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.

“My kid did it,” he told the publication. “This is the second time… The only two pre-existing characters I’ve ever played – and those of you who know my work, know it’s Groot and Bloodshot. Both of them, in some way, I can attribute to my son.”

Diesel stars in the movie alongside Eiza Gonzalez, Lamorne Morris, and Alex Hernandez. Accordingly, the trio praised the 52-year-old’s approach to filmmaking.

“(He) is one of the coolest dudes. He’s super chill, goofing around all the time. He brings his family to set. The kids did a performance piece for some of the crew,” New Girl star Morris shared. “He throws little parties here and there. His sets are very chill. He’s big on family, so if he’s away filming these movies all the time, he wants to make the set feel like home. That’s how he made everybody feel.”

While Hernandez was quick to commend Diesel for paving the way for “actors of colour” in Hollywood.

“He was nothing but generous to me… and, as another actor of colour, growing up I always thought of (Diesel) as, ‘It’s nice to see that one of us can do this. We’re actually allowed to participate in the Hollywood experience,'” he gushed.

Bloodshot is set to hit cinemas from 11 March.

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