Here’s the first cast pic of ‘Avatar 2’ with Kate Winslet, Zoe Saldana & Sam Worthington

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May 14, 2020 2:28 p.m. EST
May 16, 2020 6:24 p.m. EST
It’s been more than a decade since director James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar arrived on the big screen and fans have been anticipating the sequel(s) ever since. Initially promised for 2014, it now looks like movie number two could be delayed once again, beyond its scheduled 2021 premiere (thanks ever so much, coronavirus). But even during lockdown, the gears of the Hollywood movie-making machine keep turning—it does help that so much of the Avatar movies are made on a computer—and so we’re getting our first glimpse of the Avatar 2 cast at work.In a new photo posted to the film franchise’s official Twitter page, the original film's stars Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington are joined by new franchise faces Kate Winslet (who famously worked with Cameron on a little movie called Titanic) and New Zealand actor Cliff Curtis (Fear The Walking Dead, Whalerider). The on-set snap shows the four actors immersed in a massive, purpose-built water tank, wearing motion-capture gear, floating on pool noodles and surrounded by thousands of tiny floating balls. Earlier this month, the Avatar Twitter account shared photos of Cameron at work directing. The pictures show the same layer of floating balls as the new one, explaining that they’re meant to block excess light from penetrating the water and affecting filming. Cameron’s groundbreaking 2009 movie (which took home Oscars for cinematography, visual effects and art direction) was the highest-grossing film ever made until Avengers: Endgame knocked it off the top spot just last year. The fantasy action flick followed Jake Sully (Worthington), a paraplegic Marine who travels to Pandora but ends up being torn between completing his mission and protecting the distant world, and the Na'vi who inhabit it including the lovely Neytiri (Saldana), that now feels like home to him.Plans to film three and then four more sequels were announced as early as 2010 but Cameron’s meticulous process has slowed production. The filmmaker decided to write and film all four followup films at the same time—which extends the wait for moviegoers but apparently cuts already astronomical production costs (to the tune of $1 billion) in a big way.As it stands now, the first sequel is set to hit theatres in December of 2021, with three more films coming in 2023, 2024, and 2027. Thanks to New Zealand’s quick and thorough response to the COVID-19 crisis, filming has been given the greenlight to resume sometime this summer.[video_embed id='5977776738001']RELATED: James Cameron has no plans to retire[/video_embed]

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