‘Avatar 2′ & ‘The Wolverine’ Productions Disrupted By Japan Disaster

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:30 pm,

Avatar 2 The Wolverine movies Japan Avatar 2 & The Wolverine Productions Disrupted By Japan Disaster

There are several big movies that were planning to shoot in and around Japan in the next year, but in the light of the recent earthquake/tsunami tragedy, and the continuing dangers plaguing the region, it’s unthinkable that anyone could hope to launch a major Hollywood production there anytime soon.

20th Century Fox currently currently has two major films that were slated to be in production the Pacific region: the comic book movie sequel The Wolverine and Avatar 2, the sequel to James Cameron’s 3D mega-smash hit.

Everything started out so well for The Wolverine. The film had its script written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) and would feature the highly acclaimed Wolverine in Japan storyline from Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s 1980s comic book miniseries.  Star Hugh Jackman was excited to be doing the sequel, and even wanted to correct some the mistakes that were made in Wolverine 1. When Oscar-nominated director Darren Aronofsky joined the film, the possibility of Marvel’s mightiest mutant having a film that was both a financial and critical (Oscar-worthy?) success seemed very real.

Flash-forward to now and the fate of The Wolverine is questionable. Aronofsky left the project citing scheduling issues (though more sinister rumors about his relationship with Fox are starting to unfold); but of course the larger and more important concern is the tragedy in Japan – where The Wolverine was slated to conduct its principal shoot.

Darren Aronofsky directing Wolverine 2 Avatar 2 & The Wolverine Productions Disrupted By Japan Disaster

With no director and no certainty about shooting locations, Wolverine 2 is currently on standby. In fact, EW is exclusively reporting that due to the multiple setbacks the film has suffered, the studio is opting to “let it air out a bit” before they think about a new director. Meanwhile, The Playlist speculates that the combination of behind-the-scenes issues and the disaster in Japan could bump the film from its 2012 release date, as far back as 2013.

In the case of The Wolverine, I feel like the Japanese setting (characters and actors) are so crucial to the themes of the story that it would almost be more worthwhile to wait and see if plans to film in the Japan region may be salvaged at a later date. I’m sure that at that later point it would also be just as beneficial to the Japanese economy to host some big-budget movie productions, so we’ll see.


Avatar 2

The big selling point of Avatar 2 has been James Cameron’s claims that the film will explore the oceans of Pandora. In fact, the director – as ambitious and meticulous as he is – had even floated the idea of diving into the Mariana Trench, the deepest known part of the world, which is located in the Pacific Ocean (to the Southeast of Japan). There, Cameron planned to do research and filming on the trench that he would use to create the underwater world of Pandora, using new 3D camera technology that would allow him to film in the treacherous deep-sea environment.

Obviously, with major earthquakes and tsunamis striking the region (and continued seismographic instability), Cameron’s dive is now a risky venture. Corona Coming Attractions has a source claiming that Fox is not willing to risk the potential danger to the divers and even Cameron himself, as the insurance coverage for such an expedition is now too high, given recent developments. The fact that aftershocks from the quakes could continue to keep the region unstable for years to come is also not a promising sign. Needless to say, Cameron may have to rethink his approach to the Avatar sequel.

SIDENOTE: Of course movie making is of little importance in the face of such a great tragedy. If you are interested in learning more about what you can do to help relief efforts in Japan, visit The Red Cross website.

For now, we’ll keep you updated on the development schedules and revisions to both The Wolverine and Avatar 2.

Sources: EW, The Playlist, & Corona Coming Attractions via TMT

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  1. Better safe than sorry, but it’s to bad because 2012 looked like it would be a banner year for some of my favorite movies. :-(

  2. Cameron can just go find a different body of water to film in, and The Wolverine can just be shot on a sound stage.

    • Sound stages are great for controlled scenes but to really capture a location, you would need to film on site. Countless B movies were filmed on sound stages and they are just that, B movies, lacking the “Epic-ness” of its contemporary brethren. But your comment on Cameron finding a different body of water has me flip-flopping from agree to disagree. Countless discovery channel documentaries has gotten me thinking that all they really use is file footage but then remember this is Cameron we are talking about. For Titanic he went and filmed the actual wreck. If his vision for Avatar 2 is the Marianas trench, then it might be hard/impossible to dissuade him to try going anywhere else.

  3. Slightly ironic that the final scene in Wolverine was the Three Mile Island disaster.

    • Indeed.


    • Right. I haven´t thought about that…

      • me too

  4. It would be beneficial to both the country and the movie if they postponed a year. The country could use revenue and Wolverine could sort out its own problems, like finding a good director. (may i suggest Takashi Miike?)

    and Avatar 2 should just move all production to Australia, it would lose nothing artistically

    • I disagree completely. Unless they were actually planning on shooting in the Northern Honshu area I don’t see what the issue is. They are acting as if the entire country was declared a disaster area which it was not.

      If anything Japan could use the revenue generated by both productions so all this does is hurt the country even more.

      Now I’m not suggesting they just jump in and start filming tomorrow but waiting up to a year or more goes well beyond what I would call prudent. Wait a couple months and see what happens.

    • Australia has its own diaster to coup with. So, that’s also out of the question.

    • i mean that they shouldn’t start filming this summer like they have scheduled.

    • I suggested Miike too nowhereman!

  5. even though hes not japanese i think his style would be amazing for wolverine consering what aronofsky would have broght to the film. i think the i saw the devil director jee woon kim should get the offer. i bet you he can brong true brutality to The Wolverine

    • damn typos.

  6. Anything that disrupts another disaster that will be Avatar is a plus in my book. I can’t believe Cameron is such a moron that he thinks going tot he Marianas Trench is somehow going to make the movie better.

  7. Honestly, after seeing Avatar I didn’t really see the need for a sequel. The film worked as a standalone story. I don’t know what they could do to continue the narrative. The novelty of 3D will obviously wear off by the time Avatar 2 hits theaters and remember, all of the main human characters either died or transferred their spirit to their avatar body. Who are the human characters that we can relate to? Avatar worked as a VERY simple story because the audience went through the adventure with Jake Sully. I really don’t see what a sequel would cover or how it would work.

    • I agree with you. It wasn’t bad but It also wasn’t that good either.

  8. Do you guys think Avatar 2 will get more cash than the first one?

    • it will at least make a lot, but i think it will be another epic 3D adventure!

  9. I knew the disater would effect The Wolverine. but Avatar 2. God!

  10. SHH is hearing The Wolverine is still moving forward: http://www.superherohype.com/news/articles/129078-ews-exclusive-on-the-wolverine-is-incorrect

  11. I hope they can find new filming locations for both these films so the release dates don’t get pushed back too much.

  12. Avatar 2 still probably has a ton of pre production work to be done before principle photography. But we shall see.

  13. Too bad, i was hoping those films will be shown sooner.

    By the way:

    Director Ewing Miles Brown says Sam Botta has lost 70 lbs for Movie Tech Studios pre-production of “Live Fearless with Sam Botta”

  14. See, God doesn’t even want to see a Silver Samurai story. Lets go to Russia so we can see Omega Red.

  15. So one lame 3d movie about how much humans suck and destroy everything they touch wasn’t enough? Now there are going 2b two lame 3d movies….

  16. Can we please move on from wolverine and actually get back to the other x-men?

  17. They could use CGI background for Wolverine instead and there are other great directors for the job.

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