While lockdown may have provided us with the chance to catch up on some old movies, there’s only so many you can watch before you crave something new.
Well, fear not, because around the world some of the big-hitters are starting to re-commence production – which was of course halted by Covid-19 – in a variety of socially-distanced ways.
Here are just six of the films to keep your fingers crossed for then in 2021, when the cinemas are hopefully back in business.
The long-awaited sequel to James Cameron’s 2009 sci-fi blockbuster was able to re-start filming in New Zealand this week, because the country is almost coronavirus free.
Cameron and producer Jon Landau told the press Down Under that part two of the planned five-part film series; rumoured to be called The Way of Water (oh yeah, it’s set under water this time, by the way) would bring hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars back into the country following the pandemic.
Laundau shared a photo on Instagram earlier this week as the production got under way.
It will also bring some more big names including Kate Winslet and Vin Diesel to add to returning original stars Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Sam Worthington.
Avatar 2, which is intended to work as a standalone feature (you won’t need to have seen the first one, in other words), will focus on the children of Sully and Neytiri, who are by now leaders of their clan.
The film is now slated for a December 2021 release, with film five in the diary already for 2027 – for those of you who like to plan ahead.
Jurassic World: Dominion
If you thought reaching five films was impressive, the sixth film in the dinosaur movie franchise will be the first big production to resume in the UK next month, following rigorous new safety protocols on-set.
(It’s always best to stay at least two metres away from a dinosaur, or so we’ve read.)
“Cost isn’t our main concern now: it’s safety,” Universal bosses recently told Deadline., about its reported $5m (£4m) safety plan, which includes on-site doctors and 150 hand sanitiser stations being added to Pinewood Studios in London.
Stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are reportedly due to arrive back in London any day now, where they will have to self-isolate for two-weeks.
Which should give them the opportunity to revise the original Jurassic Park film, before Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum all join them to reprise their roles as giant lizard-chasing academics for a final time.
All being well, the results should be with us in June 2021.
Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis film starring Tom Hanks
Back Down Under, but this time in Australia, director Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic is expected to restart soon too.
Filming came to a halt after star Tom Hanks, and his wife, the actor Rita Wilson, tested positive for Covid-19, but both later recovered.
The currently-untitled movie will see Hanks portray Presley’s long-standing and famously tough manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Austin Butler will play the young king of rock ‘n’ roll.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed in a press conference on Wednesday that filming on the country’s Gold Coast would commence: “as soon as possible while making sure that the cast and crew can operate safely”.
This film was always on our minds throughout lockdown and will hopefully be on our big screens by November 2021.
Mission: Impossible 7
The latest in a long line of delays and difficulties for the Tom Cruise-starring spy action thriller occurred in late February in Italy, which was decimated by the virus early on.
Filming was then moved back to the UK before being halted altogether.
However, first assistant director Tommy Gormley told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this month that they hoped to go again from September and to still “visit all the countries we planned to”.
Actor Simon Pegg, who plays Benji Dunn in the franchise, told Variety it will “begin with the outdoor stuff”, which he said “feels fairly doable”.
The producers’ mission now, which they appear to have accepted, is to get the film in the cinemas for November 2021.
The Little Mermaid
Disney’s live-action remake of the classic animation, starring Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy, had to cancel its London filming plans just a week before it was due to start in March.
Bailey, who went home to isolate in Los Angeles, has said she’s “very excited” about the prospect of filming again.
She told Entertainment Tonight: “I was in London at the beginning of the year about to start filming and of course this pandemic caused everyone to slow down.
“I actually welcomed it because I was really missing my sister who was here in LA, so I was happy to get back to her and I’m just so very excited for when we start back again.
“It’s just really coming together. I just feel honoured every day to even think about it or talk about, I’m like, ‘What the heck? That’s really happening?'”
The film never did have a confirmed release date, even before the pandemic, although Digital Spy pointed out that an unnamed Disney live-action movie is pencilled in for release on November 19, 2021.
Finally, from fish to winged creatures…
Filming for the new Batman movie initially began in Glasgow in February with the caped crusader seen riding a motorbike in the city. However, it is thought the man seen in a Batman costume was a stuntman, rather than the film’s star Robert Pattinson.
Pattinson replaced Ben Affleck, after he hung up his cape, and the lengthy filming delay gave him chance to work on his fitness regime for the role.
It’s probably not dissimilar to your own lockdown workout. As the the US actor told Healthy For Men magazine, it involved cutting back on alcohol, and running “5-10km, three to four times per week” as well as “bicycle crunches, dumbbell side bends, double crunches, and more”.
He’ll star opposite Zoe Kravitz, who’ll play the hero’s complex love interest Catwoman.
The film is due out in October 2021, when we’ll hopefully get to discover how that inter-species relationship blossoms.