Avatar/ Twitter Sigourney Weaver
A pair of behind-the-scenes photographs of star Sigourney Weaver were released on Thursday, months after production on the sequels, which are being filmed simultaneously, resumed after a lengthy coronavirus shutdown.
In the images, Weaver shoots an underwater stunt sequence. The actress will once again star as Dr. Grace Augustine, the head of the program that brought humans into space and into the world of Avatar.
“From the set of the Avatar sequels: Sigourney Weaver never shies away from a stunt, not even when it's underwater!” read a post from Avatar’s official Twitter account. One shot showed the actress, 70, swimming underwater while in another she gave the camera a thumbs up while in a 900,000 gallon tank, which was built specifically for the sequels.
After shutting down production in March due to coronavirus concerns, production resumed in New Zealand in June.
The following month, Cameron announced that although the first sequel had initially been slated to hit theaters in December 2021, due to the “unexpected” delay, the release date was being pushed back to December 2022.
“As many of you are aware, due to COVID-19, we were forced into an unexpected lengthy delay in starting the live action filming we are currently doing in New Zealand. What most of you likely do not know is that the pandemic is still preventing us from being allowed to recommence most of our virtual production work on stages in Los Angeles,” he wrote in a statement.
“Prior to the COVID-19, everything was on track to bring you the first sequel in December of 2021. Unfortunately due to the impact that the pandemic has had on our schedule it is no longer possible for us to make that date. There is no one more disappointed about this delay than me,” he added.
Although the film is coming later than anticipated, Cameron went on to assure fans that they won’t be disappointed.
“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,” he promised.
While the plot for the sequel remains largely under wraps, last year Cameron gave a few tidbits about what to expect, revealing that the film takes place a few years after the original left off and Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoë Saldana) are still together and have an 8-year-old daughter.
The director went on to add that one “critical” scene is about an argument between the pair that is witnessed by their daughter.
“There’s a three-page argument scene between Jake and Neytiri, a marital dispute, very, very critical to the storyline,” Cameron, 64, told Empire. “I wound up shooting it all from the point of view of the eight-year-old hiding under the structure and peeking in.”
Avatar/Twitter Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Zoë Saldana and Sam Worthington
Cameron revealed in February 2019 that Winslet, 44, “was a phenomenal collaborator and just so gung-ho” about preparing for her role as Ronal, a free-diving member of the Pandoran race.
“She was a dream to work with — not the pain in the a— that she was the first time,” he joked during an interview with Vulture. “No, she was a dream on Titanic as well.”
Avatar 2 is set to be released in theaters in Dec. 16, 2022.