'Avatar' visual effects supervisor to direct New Line sequel

New Line has tapped visual effects vet Steven Quale — a longtime associate of James Cameron — as director for “Final Destination 5.”

Quale was second unit director and visual effects supervisor on “Avatar” and second unit director on “Titanic.”

He was recruited by Cameron out of USC film school to work on “The Abyss.”

He also worked on special effects on “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and directed “Aliens of the Deep” for Disney.

New Line has already given “Final Destination 5″ an Aug. 26, 2011, release date.

The 3D project will be produced by Craig Perry through his Practical Pictures shingle and Warren Zide. Eric Heisserer (“A Nightmare on Elm Street”) is penning the script. Sheila Hanahan Taylor is exec producing.

“Final Destination 5″ has a start date of Sept. 13 and will include an opening scene on a suspension bridge and another scene involving laser eye surgery.

Perry and Zide have been producers on all four “Destination” pics, which were released in 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009.

Quale signed six weeks ago with Gersh and Principato/Young.

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