As part of the fallout of the coronavirus spreading across the globe, many film productions have shut down in order to keep its cast and crew members safe. The Avatar sequels are among the cinematic projects that are now on hiatus, and Stephen Lang, a.k.a. Colonel Miles Quaritch in the Avatar universe, has responded about the delay.
Commenting on the news about the Avatar sequels ceasing production, Stephen Lang offered a hopeful sentiment for those concerned about the future of the franchise:
In addition to his assuring words, Stephen Lang also delivered a Na’vi phrase in his tweet, which translates in English as, “I see you.” It’s now been a little over 10 years since the first Avatar movie was released, so needless to say that a lot of anticipation has been built for the next chapter of director James Cameron’s sci-fi world.
As of last week, the plan was for the Avatar executive team, which may or may not have included James Cameron, to fly from Los Angeles back to New Zealand to resume filming Avatar 2, Avatar 3 and parts of Avatar 4. Because the COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of slowing down, that trip was cancelled, and production has been postponed indefinitely.
It goes without saying that shutting down filming on the Avatar sequels for the foreseeable future was a good call in order to decrease the chances of the coronavirus spreading among those working in front of and behind the cameras. However, it’s also worth mentioning that New Zealand has set up some major travel restrictions, including that any international travelers coming into the country must spend at least 14 days in quarantine.
So even if the Avatar cast and crew wanted to keep working, there’s really no feasible way they could have done so. We’ll have to wait and see when the Avatar sequels resume production, but it’s certainly in good company with other blockbusters that have pressed the pause button, such as The Batman, The Matrix 4, Jurassic World: Dominion and Fantastic Beasts 3.
As things stand now, Avatar 2 is set for release on December 17, 2021, and the following three sequels will arrive on December 2023, December 2025 and December 2027, respectively. That said, there’s a distinct chance that if production remains shut down for a long time, some or all of those release dates could be pushed back. As if we haven’t waited a long time for the Avatar sequels already, but hey, safety is the priority here.
Although Miles Quaritch was seemingly killed by Neytiri with two arrows to the chest in Avatar, we’ve known for almost a full decade that Stephen Lang will be reprising the character. While we still don’t know how Quaritch will be brought back into play, he will continue serving as the main antagonist for the sequels.
Stephen Lang isn’t the only Avatar actor who played a now-deceased character who’s returning for the next installments. Sigourney Weaver will also be back, although rather than reprising the late Dr. Grace Augustine, she’ll be playing someone else who hasn’t been identified yet.
Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on the Avatar franchise. In the meantime, find out what movies are still set to come out later this year with our 2020 release schedule, though keep in mind that dates are subject to change as these trying times with the coronavirus continue.