Two months after the closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to lockouts worldwide, the sequel “Avatar” will resume production in New Zealand next week. The
news was announced on Thursday evening by producer Jon Landau on Instagram.
“Our # avatar sets are ready – and we couldn’t be more excited to return to New Zealand next week,” Landau wrote in a post that included a set photo. “Check out the Matador, a high-speed forward command ship (below) and the Picador jet boat (above) – I can’t wait to share more.”
A person with knowledge of the production told TheWrap that Landaus Post was correct.
The production of the four “Avatar” sequels, all filmed sequentially in New Zealand facilities, was discontinued on March 17 when the country’s film commission stopped television and film work. At the same time, most flights to and from New Zealand were restricted to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Earlier this month, New Zealand approved new security protocols and began to allow film productions to resume. James Cameron’s massive ode to ecological superpowers will soon be back on track.
Related Slideshow: All Movies Paused or Delayed Due to Corona Virus Pandemic (provided by TheWrap)
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As the corona virus continues to spread, more and more films are delaying or interrupting production. As the number of films affected increases, TheWrap found it extremely informative to keep a running list.
“No time to die”
MGM, universal and bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced that after careful review and thorough evaluation of the global cinema market, the release of “No Time to Die” will be postponed to November 2020.
“A Quiet Place Part II”
Director John Krasinski announced on Instagram that the release of the horror sequel in March will be delayed due to the increasing spread of the corona virus around the world. Paramount has now dated the film for release on September 4th.
“Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway”
“Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” was one of the first films to be delayed as a result of the corona virus. Sony postponed the release to August 7th in late March. However, as the shutdowns continue, Sony has juggled its release board so the family film will now be released on January 15, 2021.
“Fast and Furious 9”
The publication of the next edition of “Fast & Furious”, “F9”, has been postponed from May 22nd to the opening on April 2nd, 2021.
Paramount postponed the release of the romantic comedy “The Lovebirds” with Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani on April 3 after the SXSW premiere was also canceled. Netflix then acquired the film from Paramount and will release it at a time to be announced.
Paramount delayed the controversial British gang movie “Blue Story”, which was due to be released on March 20th. A future release date has not been announced.
“The Artist’s Wife”
Strand Releasing and Water’s End Productions delayed the limited release of the film “The Artist’s Wife” by Bruce Dern and Lena Olin. The film was scheduled to open in New York on April 3, April 10 in Los Angeles and April 17 in San Francisco. No new release date has been set.
Hirokazu Kore-eda’s film “The Truth” by IFC Films will postpone its release on March 20 to an unspecified date in summer 2020. The film opens in both French and English with Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke in several overseas markets. IFC Films has set a new release date for July 3rd.
Disney has postponed the release of its blockbuster live action remake of the animated film “Mulan” from March 27th to July 24th. The move was part of a large number of films that Disney added to its release calendar on April 3.
“The New Mutants”
After numerous delays, the X-Men spinoff “The New Mutants” of the 20th century was pushed back by Disney “out of caution”. The film by director Josh Boone was due to open on April 3rd. No new release date has been set.
Antlers, an indie horror film directed by Scott Cooper with Keri Russell, has also been pushed back by Disney and Searchlight Pictures since its release on April 17. No new release date has been set.
“Black Widow” and the MCU
With the entire release calendar restructured, Disney has pushed back every Marvel film in the film universe. “Black Widow” was scheduled to open on May 1st, but will now return to the slot previously occupied by “The Eternals” on November 6th. “Eternals” changes on February 12, 2021, “Shang-Chi and The Legend” of the Ten Rings “opens on May 7, 2021 and” Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness “is postponed to November 5, 2021. The changes also affected Marvel’s plan for 2022 with the opening of “Thor: Love and Thunder” in February 2022. 18, 2022, “Black Panther 2” will be postponed to May 8, 2022, and “Captain Marvel 2” that previously not dated is now scheduled for publication on July 8, 2022.
Untitled Elvis film
Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biography with Austin Butler ceased production in Australia after co-star Tom Hanks (Presley manager Col. Parker) and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for COVID-19. The planned release date has also been postponed by a month and is now open on November 5, 2021.
“Mission: Impossible 7 and 8”
At the end of February, Paramount’s action sequel stopped the production of the Tom Cruise action sequel in Italy. Paramount also postponed the release dates of both films on April 24, shifting “M: I 7” from the release date in July 2021 to November 19, 2021 and the eighth film from summer to November 4, 2022.
Sony has delayed filming the drama with real sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning in Budapest.
“Birds of paradise”
Amazon Studios stopped producing director Sarah Adina Smith’s ballet drama in Budapest.
“Jurassic World: Dominion”
Universal paused in production of the third “Jurassic World” and Chris Pratt returned to continue playing with the dinosaurs.
Universal also stopped producing this boxing biopic with Ice Cube and Ryan Destiny.
“The Toronto Man”
Sony delayed the start of production of the action comedy with Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson (who replaced Jason Statham).
The Spanish studio Mediapro has stopped producing the new comedy with Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas.
On March 14, Warner Bros. stopped production in the UK for the restart of Matt Reeves DC Films for at least two weeks. The film plays Robert Pattinson as Caped Crusader. On April 20, Warner Bros. officially postponed the release date by four months to October 1 from its originally scheduled release date in June 2021. The shift also pushed back several other DC titles, including “The Flash” on June 3, 2022 and “Shazam 2!” until November 4, 2022.
MGM discontinued production of the Sylvester Stallone thriller on March 14. The film was shot in Atlanta.
Sony’s modernized version of “Cinderella” by director Kay Cannon with Camila Cabello will cease production due to the expansion of the travel ban to the UK. The film was shot at Pinewood Studios.
“Fantastic Beasts 3”
The third installment by J.K. Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts” series, which emerged from the Harry Potter universe, will postpone its production, which is slated to begin in the UK in March. The film stars Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Katherine Waterston.
“The Card Counter”
Paul Schrader’s “The Card Counter” with Oscar Isaac, Willem Dafoe, Tye Sheridan and Tiffany Haddish stopped production in Los Angeles for five days from Monday after the director said on Facebook that a “day player” tested positive for the virus has been. “I would have shot through hellfire rain to complete the film,” added Schrader. “I am old and asthmatic. How can you die better than at work?”
“The Matrix 4”
Production of “The Matrix 4” was temporarily stopped in March, a person with knowledge told TheWrap. The sequel with Keanu Reeves was produced in Berlin.
After Kelly Reichardt’s “First Cow” was released on March 6 in a limited edition, the distributor announced on Monday that he would release the film again in cinemas later this year.
The movie release of the indie film “Deerskin” by director Quentin Dupieux with Jean Dujardin has been postponed until further notice. Greenwich
Entertainment wanted to release the film on March 20 after playing at Cannes, TIFF and Fantastic Fest. The film will now open on May 1 through a virtual cinema offer.
“Uncharted”, the film version of the popular PlayStation video game franchise with Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Banderas, could not start production in March due to
coronavirus concerns. As part of a larger shuffle of Sony’s release schedule, the film’s last release date was also moved from March 2021 to October 8, 2021.
The indie comedy “The Climb” by Sony Pictures Classics, which was played at Sundance this year, should be released on March 20, but will be postponed until further notice.
The sequels to James Cameron’s four “Avatar” sequels delayed filming in New Zealand indefinitely, the film’s producer Jon Landau told the New Zealand Herald. The leadership team was due to fly to Wellington, New Zealand on Friday, but will remain in Los Angeles due to the corona virus. Landau said he could not give an answer as to when production would resume and when the local kiwi crew could start working again. “If I told you that we would know something in two weeks, I would be lying. I couldn’t be wrong – even a broken watch is correct twice a day. But I would lie because I don’t know,” said Landau said. “We are in the middle of a global crisis and this is not about the film industry. I think everyone has to do everything we can, as we say here, to smooth the curve.”
“The personal story of David Copperfield”
Searchlight Studios should release Armando Iannucci’s comedic version of the Charles Dickens novel by “Veep” creator on May 8th. No new release date has been set.
“The woman in the window”
Director Amy Wright’s Amy Adams thriller, “The Woman in the Window,” was due to open in cinemas on May 15th at 20th Century Studios. No new release date has been set.
The movie release of the Annie Silverstein indie drama “Bull” was postponed from its release on March 20th and will now open on May 1st on VOD and digital. The film has been on tour since its debut in Cannes in 2019.
“Minions: The Rise of Gru”
The latest “Minions” film “The Rise of Gru” was postponed from its release date on July 3rd. The Illumination
Entertainment Paris office had to be closed due to the corona virus, so the film could not be completed in time. Universal will release the film on July 2, 2021, a full year after its first date.
“Wonder Woman 1984”
The sequel to “Wonder Woman” with Gal Gadot will now hit theaters on August 14 after being pushed back from the release date on June 5.
“In the heights”
The film musical, based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s stage production “In the Heights”, was postponed by Warner Bros. from June 26 to June 18, 2021.
“Malignant”, a horror film by director James Wan, has been indefinitely postponed from its release date on August 14 to clear the way for the opening of “Wonder Woman 1984” at the end of summer.
“Peter Rabbit 2”, “Morbius” and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife”In a major revision of its release, Sony has postponed three films scheduled for this summer into the first quarter of 2021. The sequel to “Peter Rabbit” will now be released in January 2021, while both “Morbius” and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” will be postponed to next March.
“Greyhound”Sony has also postponed a World War II drama written and starred by Tom Hanks from its release date in mid-June, though no new date has yet been set.
Universal has removed the film musical adaptation of “Wicked” from its original release date on December 22, 2021 and will be released again at a later date.
“Sing 2” by Illumination will now open at the location that “Wicked” cleared on December 22, 2021 at Universal’s Release Slate.
“Top Gun: Maverick”
The sequel to the 1985 hit with Tom Cruise was postponed from June 24 to December 23, 2020.
The universal horror film “Candyman” by director Nia DaCosta, produced by Jordan Peele, will be postponed from the release date on June 12 to September 25, 2020.
The music comedy “Praise This” about a church choir, produced by Will Packer, was postponed to the release date on September 25th and will be put back on the list by Universal later.
“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run”
Paramount has moved the animated “Spongebob” movie from its release date on May 22nd to July 31st.
With the postponement of “Mulan”, Disney postponed the release of the Dwayne Johnson adventure comedy “Jungle Cruise” an entire year until July 30, 2021.
Ryan Reynolds’ video game comedy was scheduled to open on July 3, but will now open on December 11.
“The French shipping”
Director Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” was postponed from July 24, 2020 to October 16, 2020 as part of Disney’s postponement of his entire release calendar.
Untitled Indiana Jones
The fifth Indiana Jones film starring Harrison Ford has already postponed its release date to respond to Disney’s wave of other release changes. It will now open on July 29, 2022.
Universal’s “Nobody”, a revenge thriller and action film starring Bob Odenkirk by the author of “John Wick” and the producers of “Atomic Blonde”, has been postponed from its release date on August 14, 2020 to February 26. 2021. As a result, an untitled M. Night Shyamalan thriller scheduled for that day is now undated and will be included in the calendar again later.
“Soul” and “Raya and the last dragon”
Disney and Pixar’s “Soul” has been postponed from its June release date to its November 20 opening. It is now opening near the location where Disney Animation Studios’ Raya and the Last Dragon film was due to open. This film will now debut on March 12, 2021. It filled the place of a nameless Disney live action film that has now been removed from the list.
The latest film by director Antoine Fuqua with Mark Wahlberg, “Infinite”, was pushed back by Paramount from the release date on August 7, and is now opening on Memorial Day weekend, May 28, 2021. The film is currently in post-production and while “Infinite” has not been explicitly pushed back due to the corona virus, the new date gives the studio more time to improve the film’s original intellectual property.
“The Many Saints of Newark”
The prequel to “The Sopranos”, which follows a young Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini’s son Michael Gandolfini, during the Newark riots in the 1960s, has been postponed to 2021 and now opened on March 12, 2021 after it was originally for September 2020 was planned.
The biopic about the life of the great tennis star Richard Williams with Will Smith has been postponed from its November 2020 release date to its opening almost a year later on November 19, 2021.
“Poison: Let there be massacre”
While the sequel to “Venom” received a new title from Sony in its latest update “Let There Be Carnage”, it was also pushed back by a release in October to the opening on June 25, 2021.
Paramount’s film, based on the game Dungeons & Dragons by Game Night directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, has been moved from a release date in November 2021 to May 27, 2022.
Paramount’s horror film with Omari Hardwick, due to be released in August this year, has been removed from the release calendar without a new date being set.
Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang all played around themselves in the original science fiction action epic about the extraterrestrial planet Pandora, where a race of lanky, big blue aliens lives in harmony with the world around them to defend their home from invading human forces. Worthington plays a soldier who can enter a Na’Vi body as a virtual avatar, and he enters into a relationship with the Na’Vi until he finally unites with her cause.
In addition to the lead actors, all of whom return to their original roles, Kate Winslet, David Thewlis, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Oona Chaplin, Edie Falco, Cliff Curtis and CCH Pounder will appear in the four sequels.
You can see the set photo that Landau shared below:
May 21, 2020 at 2:47 p.m. PDT