James Cameron missed the Los Angeles premiere of 'Avatar: The Way of Water' after he tested positive for coronavirus.

The 68-year-old filmmaker, who directed the motion picture, believes he picked up COVID on a flight back from Tokyo, so he was forced to miss the event at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Monday evening (12.12.22).

He told Deadline: "I am in LA, just back from Tokyo, and I managed to pick up COVID on the plane, so I’m isolated and can’t go to my own premiere tonight.

"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 guess not. Man proposes, and God disposes."

James - who attended the London premiere for the film last Tuesday (06.12.22) - was found to have been struck down with COVID as part of routine testing.

A Disney representative said: "James Cameron 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."

Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington were among the sequel's stars who walked the blue carpet on Monday.

The 'Avatar' franchise's four sequels have an expected budget of around $1 billion, and the filmmaker recently insisted 'The Way of Water', the hotly-anticipated follow up to 2009's 'Avatar', will have to be the "third or fourth highest-grossing film in history" just to break even.

He said the movie was "very f******" expensive to make, and described the motion picture as the "worst business case in movie history".

Speaking about how the film could be profitable, he said: "You have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history.

"That’s your threshold. That’s your break even.

"I like difficult. I’m attracted by difficult. Difficult is a f****** magnet for me. I go straight to difficult.

"And I think it probably goes back to this idea that there are lots of smart, really gifted, really talented filmmakers out there that just can’t do the difficult stuff.

"So that gives me a tactical edge to do something nobody else has ever seen, because the really gifted people don’t f****** want to do it."