Remember that crazy bearded fellow named James Cameron who made everyone cringe when, after winning the best director Oscar for “Titanic,” exclaimed “I’m King of the World!” ? Talk about taking your time after an Oscar victory to choose your next project carefully, but the wait is finally over. August 21, 2009 is “Avatar” Day!
Ava-wha? Yeah, I know. I feel the same way. Frankly, unless you have your finger on the movie pulse of the web, you probably don’t have a clue what “Avatar” is about or when it’s set to hit theaters. Since we’re less than a month away from “Avatar” Day, let me break it down for you.
Conceived 14 years ago, “Avatar” is 3-D movie written and directed by James Cameron and is set to hit theaters on December 18, 2009. With the exception of some concept art and Cameron showing select folks his footage, this project has been kept under wraps. We know the story takes place in the 22nd Century on a moon called Pandora. The inhabitants of Pandora are 10-foot tall blue aliens called Na’vi, a tribal society. Humans, always looking to dominate, can’t breathe the air on Pandora, so they genetically engineer human and Na’vi hybrids called Avatars. These Avatars are controlled via a mental link, and a paralyzed soldier (Sam Worthington) volunteers to live on Pandora as an Avatar, but in doing so winds up falling in love with a Na’vi woman and becoming entangled in the conflict between the Na’vi and the human army.
Joining Sam Worthington (recently seen in “Terminator Salvation”) is Zoe Saldana (“Star Trek”), Sigourney Weaver (“Baby Mama”), Michelle Rodriguez (“Fast & Furious) and Giovanni Ribisi (“Public Enemies”). And joining those real-life actors will be, we assume, numerous CGI “photo-realistic actors” developed with new motion capture technology that Cameron is using. In fact, that’s the main reason Cameron has taken so long to make “Avatar” – the snail’s pace of current technology vs. what Cameron wants to create.
So there you have it – a small serving of what James Cameron’s 3-D “Avatar” is all about. If you want to read more about the technology Cameron is using, I suggest reading the Wikipedia article about “Avatar” or reading this article at Wired.com or the LA Times about the footage screened at Comic-Con.
As soon as the trailer goes live, you know you can catch it here. In the meantime, have you heard much about this movie? If not, what’s your interest?