In the wake of the terrible tragedy that recently shook Japan, two eagerly anticipated sci-fi films have sadly, but understandably, hit speed bumps in their development. So we may have to be just a teeny weeny bit more patient before we can see The Wolverine and Avatar 2.
Following director Darren Aronofsky's (The Fountain) departure from The Wolverine, starring a beefed-up Hugh Jackman, comes word that filming on the superhero movie—set to take place in Japan—will have to wait.
Twentieth Century Fox has halted production on The Wolverine to not only give themselves time to find a new director, but also because filming would have taken place in Japan. It was to commence around the next year but now will be pushed back a year or so, meaning the film's release may end up being pushed back from 2012 to 2013. Which is, again, understandable. The studio wants to give people time to recover before waltzing in, closing blocks of streets for filming and causing a ruckus.
The other little sci-fi movie affected by the events in Japan is James Cameron's sequel to Avatar.
For the eagerly anticipated sequel, James Cameron had apparently planned to dive to the bottom of the Marianas Trench (in Japan) and possibly film some underwater scenes in the area (we did tell you the Avatar sequel would be set underwater). This trench is located 35,996 feet below the surface of the western Pacific Ocean, and it's apparently only been visited once by humans. (No one can say Cameron isn't a pioneer.)
Now Fox won't let Cameron go because it's (our words) too freakin' dangerous. Coming Attractions reports that:
the March 11 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan has put Cameron's dive plans in jeopardy. Hundreds of aftershocks have been felt since the first quake, and while the intensity of the aftershocks are of lesser strength than the original 9.0 quake, they will go on for an undetermined period of time—perhaps for years. That's why Cameron's dive is now in jeopardy; the safety of the divers, including Cameron himself, may now be beyond a point where liability insurance will allow for.
Sending a manned expedition six-and-a-half miles down into the deepest part of the ocean is already a sizeable cause for concern. With this new element of jeopardy, it could be just enough to prevent James Cameron to call action live from the bottom of the sea floor.
Does that mean Cameron will turn his eye toward another region of the ocean, or will he decide to rely on CGI effects or water tank shots? That last part is doubtful. In all probability Cameron will wait it out and do his dive when things have calmed down and become less dangerous.
In the end, though, these are just films. Humanity comes before entertainment. Our thoughts and prayers go to the people of Japan in these dark hours.