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James Cameron to skip US premiere for ‘Avatar 2’ due to COVID-19

Director James Cameron signs autographs at the premiere of "Avatar: The Way Of The Water" on Dec. 9, 2022, in Seoul, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

(CNN) — It’s a sequel 13 years in the making, but James Cameron will have to sit the premiere out.

The “Avatar: The Way of Water” director will not be in attendance at Monday’s U.S. premiere for the film in Los Angeles after testing positive for COVID-19, according to a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

“Jim has COVID but is feeling fine. He tested positive as part of a routine testing cadence. He will continue to complete his schedule virtually but will not be at the premiere,” a Disney spokesperson told the outlet.

CNN has reached out to Disney and representatives for Cameron.

The director, who has been traveling around the world attending premieres for the highly anticipated movie, initially revealed his positive result while virtually attending the new “Pressure: James Cameron into the Abyss” exhibit opening at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County on Sunday night, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

On a Zoom presentation, Cameron said he wanted to “apologize to everyone who’s gathered there tonight. I can’t be at my own party.”

He went on to say that he “started to feel kind of heavy” while traveling back from Tokyo.

“I got tested and sure enough I have COVID, so obviously I can’t be there, jeopardize other people,” he added.

Cameron previously directed 2009’s “Avatar,” which took home three Oscars and became the world’s highest-grossing film.

The celebrated filmmaker told CNN’s Jason Carroll in September how the sequel is different from the original, saying, “I think it’s more emotional than the first film.”

He added that the new movie, which takes the action on Pandora to the exotic planet’s oceans, “focuses more on character and relationship dynamics than the first film did, but it definitely delivers on the spectacle.”

“Avatar: The Way of Water” debuts in U.S. theaters on Friday.