Vin Diesel Is Not in Avatar Sequels, Producer Confirms After Actor's … – PEOPLE

Jen Juneau is a digital news writer for PEOPLE since 2016.
Vin Diesel will not be making an appearance on Pandora.
Avatar franchise producer Jon Landau put the related casting rumors to rest in a statement to Empire, shutting down the buzz that emerged after Diesel, 55, shared a video alongside director James Cameron back in 2019.
“Vin was a fan,” Landau, 62, told Empire in his interview published Tuesday. “He came in, visited the set one day to see what we were doing and people took that out of context.”
Posted in April 2019, the Instagram video showed Diesel and Cameron, 68, on the set of the Avatar sequel films — which the filmmaker joked was “top secret, like the Manhattan Project.”
"There is one person in Hollywood I've always wanted to work with and learn from … and so, all things come, I guess, to those that wait," Diesel said, seemingly referring to Cameron.
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Regardless of his non-involvement in the Avatar films, Diesel remains booked and busy, with two film projects slated for release this year alone.
The actor both stars in and co-produces Fast X, the upcoming 10th installment in the Fast & Furious franchise, which hits theaters on May 19. Two weeks earlier, he reprises the voice of Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
According to an official synopsis, Vol. 3 finds Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) “still reeling from the loss of Gamora” (which happened in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War), but he “must rally his team around him to defend the universe along with protecting one of their own. A mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.”
The franchise’s third installment, which writer/director James Gunn announced would be the last, wrapped filming in May 2022.
RELATED VIDEO: Kate Winslet Reveals Her Kids Encouraged Her to Make Avatar Sequel: "You Have to Do It!"
Meanwhile, during its first two weeks in theaters, Avatar: The Way of Water made more than $1 billion at the global box office.
According to Box Office Mojo, the more-than-three-hour sci-fi film, which is offered in 3D and premium formats, has thus far earned $572.4 million domestically and $1.3 billion internationally, for a total of $1.9 billion so far.
Avatar 3 will take the franchise in new — and dark! — directions, Cameron recently told France’s 20 Minutes, via Total Film.
The next installment will feature “different cultures from those I have already shown,” he said. “The fire will be represented by the ‘Ash People.’ I want to show the Na’vi from another angle because, so far, I have only shown their good sides.”
Cameron continued in part, "In the early films, there are very negative human examples and very positive Na'vi examples. In Avatar 3, we will do the opposite."
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