Looking for James Cameron at tonight’s ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ premiere? Good luck

James Cameron in a suit and tie against a backdrop that says "Avatar: The Way of Water"
James Cameron at the world premiere of “Avatar: The Way of Water” in London on Dec. 6.
(Vianney Le Caer / Invision / Associated Press)

Avatar” will make its return to Hollywood Monday night, more than a decade since the franchise’s 2009 debut. Too bad director James Cameron won’t be there to witness it.

The Oscar winner will miss out on a screening of “Avatar: The Way of Water” tonight at the El Capitan Theatre thanks to a bout of COVID-19, Deadline reported Monday afternoon.

“I am in L.A., just back from Tokyo, and I managed to pick up COVID on the plane,” he told Deadline. “I’m isolated and can’t go to my own premiere tonight.”


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Despite Cameron testing positive for the virus, Disney told Deadline the director is “feeling fine” and will “complete his schedule virtually.”

Cameron revealed his diagnosis Sunday during the opening ceremony of his exhibition — “Pressure: James Cameron into the Abyss” — at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the Hollywood Reporter reported. Like Monday evening’s premiere, Cameron was set to attend the opening festivities in person, but instead made a Zoom appearance.

“I want to, first of all, apologize to everyone who’s gathered there tonight. I can’t be at my own party,” he said Sunday night. “So obviously I can’t be there, [can’t] jeopardize other people.”

The filmmaker has been globe-trotting since the “The Way of Water” world premiere in London on Dec. 6. After the United Kingdom, he traveled to Seoul, South Korea then Tokyo, Japan for additional events.

“The number of people I’ve told over the years, ‘Ah, we’ll catch up and I’ll see you at the premiere’...well, I gues not,” he told Deadline. “Man proposes, and God disposes.”

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“The Way of Water” is the long-awaited follow up to Cameron’s 2009 Oscar-winning blockbuster. Returning for the sequel are stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang. Joining the film are Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis and Edie Falco.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” hits theaters Friday.