James Cameron, director of the highly anticipated Avatar: The Way of Water, will not attend Monday evening’s premiere of the film in Los Angeles after testing positive for COVID-19, The Hollywood Reporter learned.
The filmmaker initially revealed the infection Sunday night, during the opening ceremony of his multimedia experience Pressure: James Cameron into the Abyss at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. He was set to attend the event in person but spoke at the opening reception via Zoom.
“I want to first of all, apologize to everyone who’s gathered there tonight. I can’t be at my own party. I was traveling around the world [for Avatar: The Way of Water premieres] … and on the flight back from Tokyo I started to feel kind of heavy. I got tested and sure enough I have COVID, so obviously I can’t be there, jeopardize other people,” Cameron said at the opening ceremony of his exhibit.
Just last week, the Avatar director was at the film’s world premiere in London, alongside producer Jon Landau and the entire cast.
Nearly 13 years after 2009’s Avatar, which won three Oscars and grossed $2.92 billion, Cameron is bringing back his blue 3D aliens in the sequel, starring Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Edie Falco and Kate Winslet.
The filmmaker told The Hollywood Reporter for a recent cover story that Avatar: The Way of Water was a decade-long passion project that fulfilled a desire to have a franchise with several installments.
Avatar: The Way of Water will be released in theaters on Dec. 16.