Despite delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, James Cameron remains “optimistic” that Avatar 2 will still open as scheduled in December of 2021. While shooting is currently shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, the film’s social media onslaught continues on pace. Today, @officialavatar shared a new photo from behind-the-scenes of the massive sequel, showing Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Kate Winslet, and Cliff Curtis bobbing in the massive 900,000 gallon tank built for the film for the purposes of the movie’s groundbreaking underwater performance capture photography.

Here’s the image:

I just love how completely unglorified the shooting of these very expensive movies are. They’re in a giant pile of bubbles, covered in dots, floating on pool noodles! Movie magic!

Cameron did concede to Empire that the pandemic was “putting a major crimp” in the Avatar sequels’ production. “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,” he added. Four more Avatar films are theoretically expected between now and 2025, but the massive amounts of money being spent on the high-tech sequels means movie theaters will need to be open for Disney (who now controls the franchise after acquiring 20th Century Fox) to earn back their investment on this project. There will be no going straight to Disney+ for the Avatar movies. So Avatar 2 opens in theaters on December 17, 2021, coronavirus permitting.

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