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    Talking Avatar (2009) by James Cameron news!

    They've started with production!!!

    source: New York Times

    James Cameron, the director whose “Titanic” set a record for ticket sales around the world, will join 20th Century Fox in tackling a similarly ambitious and costly film, “Avatar,” which will test new technologies on a scale unseen before in Hollywood, the studio and the filmmaker said today.

    The film, with a budget of close to $200 million, is an original science fiction story that will be shown in3D in conventional theaters. The story pits a human army against an alien army on a distant planet, using live actors and digital technology to make a large cast of virtual creatures who convey emotion as authentically as humans.

    Earlier movies like the “The Lord of the Rings” did so on a limited basis, while those like “The Polar Express” have used live actors to drive animated images with so-called “motion capture” technology. But none has gone as far as “Avatar” will do to create an entirely photorealistic world, complete with virtual characters on that scale, Mr. Cameron said in a telephone interview.

    “This film is a true hybrid — a full live-action shoot, with C.G. characters in C.G. and live environments,” he said, referring computer-generated images. “Ideally at the end of the of day the audience has no idea which they’re looking at.”

    The making of “Titanic,” Mr. Cameron’s last full-blown Hollywood feature, was the stuff of movie legend. The film, released in 1997, went far over its planned cost to become the most expensive production that had then been made. But it went on to become a historic success, taking in a record-breaking $1.8 billion at the worldwide box office, and also winning 11 Oscars, including an award for best picture.

    Mr. Cameron said that he had taken care to avoid the problems he encountered on his last gargantuan production, and that he was already four months into shooting the nonprincipal scenes by the time Fox gave final approval to the project today.

    “I’ve looked long and hard at ‘Titanic’ and other effects-related things I’ve done where they’ve drifted budget-wise,” he said. “This has been designed from the ground up to avoid those pitfalls. Will we have other pitfalls? Yes, probably.”

    For its aliens, “Avatar” will rely on characters that will be designed in the computer, but played by human actors, with tiny cameras on headsets recording their performances to be inserted into a virtual world.

    Mr. Cameron has already devised revolutionary methods to shoot the film, which he has been quietly doing since the fall, and expects to create still more methods to bring to life the vision of a completely realistic alien world. He and computer experts have designed a camera that allows the director to observe the performance of the actors-as-aliens in the virtual environment in real time.

    Sam Worthington, a young Australian actor, has been named to play the lead, as a paralyzed former marine who undergoes an experiment to exist as an avatar, another version of himself. The avatar is not paralyzed, but is an alien — 10 feet tall and blue. Zoe Saldana, another relative unknown, has been chosen as the love interest.

    “We could do it with make-up, in a ‘Star Trek’ manner, we could put rubber on his face, but I wasn’t interested in doing it that way,” said Mr. Cameron. “With the new tools, we can create a humanoid character that is anything we imagine it to be — beautiful, elegant, graceful, powerful — evocative of us, but still with an emotional connection.”

    The live-action shoot with actors will begin in April, with major effects being done by Weta, the filmmaker Peter Jackson’s New Zealand-based effects company, which worked on his “Lord of the Rings.” The film is scheduled for release in summer 2009.

    “This will launch an entire new way of seeing and exhibiting movies,” said Jim Gianopulos, co-chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment. “It’s once again Jim is transforming the medium. Jim’s not just a filmmaker; every one of his films have pushed the envelope, in its aesthetic and in technology. This is an astounding undertaking, and one only Jim could do justice to.”


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    IMDB

    Why we must wait over 2 years??!! I hope it's worth it!

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    Next article: source

    The Return of the King (of the World)

    20th Century Fox finally greenlights James Cameron's sci-fi epic ''Avatar,'' due in 2009

    For all those in Hollywood who bet that James Cameron would never again make another movie... well, we hope you didn't wager a lot of money. Because after nine long years of dusting his Titanic Oscars and carefully, methodically, and maybe even nervously plotting how to follow up one of the biggest cultural phenomenons ever to come out of Hollywood, the King of the World is officially back in the director's chair. Twentieth Century Fox is announcing today that it has finalized a long-in-the-works deal to produce Cameron's next project, a sci-fi epic entitled Avatar.

    The movie is likely to be one of the most technically complex productions ever mounted, as it will make extensive use of cutting edge 3-D, computer animation, and motion capture f/x technology. (Think: how Peter Jackson brought Gollum and King Kong to life.) And by the time it arrives in theaters in the summer of 2009, the movie might be one of the most expensive movies ever made; Fox is said to have greenlit the film at $200 million.

    What's Avatar all about? According to previously published reports, it's an original screenplay penned by Cameron that follows a battle-scarred war vet who travels to another planet inhabited by an alien race with a distinctly different language and culture from Earth. Conflicts ensue.

    Cameron begins shooting Avatar in April. Check back with EW.com later today and in the days to come for additional coverage.

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    And The Hollywood Reporter

    James Cameron is set to direct "Avatar," his first dramatic feature since the Oscar-winning blockbuster "Titanic" in 1997.

    Fox Filmed Entertainment chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman said Monday that Cameron will start virtual photography on the sci-fi epic in April, with live-action photography commencing in August, for a summer 2009 release. It will be filmed in a new digital 3-D format for release in 3-D.

    The director already has spent years in R&D on the multiple processes needed to create a $190 million hybrid of live action and animation, which he vowed will never pass the $200 million mark. "I've been the busiest unemployed director in Hollywood," he said. "We're going to blow you to the back wall of the theater in a way you haven't seen for a long time. My goal is to rekindle those amazing mystical moments my generation felt when we first saw '2001: A Space Odyssey,' or the next generation's 'Star Wars.' It took me 10 years to find something hard enough to be interesting."

    Said Rothman: "Jim has taken the time to get it right, and we're taking the time to do it right. It's worth the wait."

    Neither Cameron nor Fox want to repeat the budget overruns that plagued the $200 million "Titanic," the director said. "We are shooting only 31 days of live action, all onstage. It's controllable. No weather conditions. No water on this one," he said. "When you come back to the table years later to make a movie of a certain scale, you want to make sure you cross all the t's and dot all the i's. We're 2 1/2 years out, and we've already shot 10 minutes of the film. The FX guys are working, the characters are designed, animators are already working."

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    Partly through its work on six documentary features including "Ghosts of the Abyss," Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment team has researched a potentially groundbreaking mix of live-action cinematography and virtual photorealistic production techniques for "Avatar," which will feature virtual characters.

    "Avatar," with a screenplay by Cameron, will mark the director's return to the sci-fi action-adventure genre. He first wrote an 80-page treatment 11 years ago. The film centers on a wounded ex-Marine who is unwillingly sent to settle and exploit the faraway planet Pandora. He gets caught up in a battle for survival by the planet's inhabitants, called Na'vis, and falls in love with one of them. "Not only is this groundbreaking technologically, but it's an intimate story set against an epic canvas," Rothman said. "That's what Jim does. You can't compare it to anything out there. Its biggest upside, besides its revolutionary technology, is its newness. It's not a sequel to anything."

    Cameron had been developing another sci-fi adventure, the comic book adaptation "Battle Angel Alita," but when Laeta Kalogridis' script for that project didn't come together after many drafts, he dusted off "Avatar," which he hadn't touched for five years. He started designing the movie in May 2005, he said.

    During the next year and a half, Cameron continued to develop "Battle Angel" alongside "Avatar." Said producer Jon Landau: "We needed to prove to ourselves that we could make 'Avatar' and make it at the level of quality that Jim wanted. So throughout that early fall we went through a series of tests where we actually shot a scene from the movie to prove the process to ourselves." After finalizing 45 photo-real seconds of a five-minute performance-capture test, Cameron and the studio were convinced that "Avatar" could proceed.

    For the film's lead role, the 22-year-old planetary adventurer Jack Sully, Cameron sought a new face. After global screen tests to satisfy the studio, he selected his first choice, Australian actor Sam Worthington, who has starred in "Somersault" and "Dirty Deeds" and had been considered to play James Bond. "He's got the weight, he's a tough guy -- a young Russell Crowe. They grow them differently over there," Cameron said.

    Zoe Saldana, who appeared in "The Terminal" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," will portray Sully's love interest, one of the planet's primitive aliens. She will be a CG character, while Sully will exist in human (live action) and biological "avatar" (CG) form. As an avatar, the human Sully is able to project his consciousness into an alien body.

    Both actors have signed on for possible future installments as well because Cameron and Fox see "Avatar" as a potential franchise. "If we make money, I guarantee there will be more," Cameron said. "If we don't, we'll pretend it never happened." Other casting will be announced shortly.

    For "Avatar," Cameron will use performance-capture techniques similar to those used by such films as "Superman Returns" and "King Kong" as well as a real-time virtual camera system, which will blend the actors' performances and CG performances with real sets, miniatures and CG environments. With the virtual camera, the director will be able to look through an eyepiece and see his characters in their virtual world.

    Saying the production process is similar to creating an animated film, Cameron estimated that the finished film will be 60% CG elements and 40% live action. He is aiming for the sort of photo-realism achieved by the CG sequences in "Kong" and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

    "We had a number of processes we wanted to bring to maturation," he said. "We wanted to kick up to the next level of cinematographic precision the 3-D live-action photography we had been using on the documentary films. We refined the second generation of the Fusion camera." The proprietary Fusion digital 3-D camera system was developed by Cameron and Vince Pace.

    The performance-capture side took longer, Cameron said, "because as mature as performance capture is for gross body motion, facial performance capture is still a nascent art."

    The competitive race among four VFX houses for the assignment to supervise the film's visual effects was won by Peter Jackson's Oscar-winning Weta Digital, which worked on "Rings."

    "Any one of them could have handled the volume of shots, the scale of the project, and handled the technology," Cameron said. "Joe Lettieri and his team had a history of translating facial performance capture to really good photo-real characters. The culture there is imbued from the head down with a passion for fantasy filmmaking. And they met us halfway on the price."

    "Avatar" will be produced by Cameron and Landau for Lightstorm. Principal photography will take place in and around Los Angeles and in New Zealand. Production designer Rick Carter, visual effects designer Rob Stromberg and visual effects producer Brooke Breton already have begun work. No director of photography has been hired.

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    Why we must wait over 2 years??!! I hope it's worth it!
    It's Jim Cameron movie!! It will be worth waiting and it'll be worth every penny paid for the ticket!

    I can't wait to see the trailer of this movie

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    Quote Originally Posted by michalz00 View Post
    It's Jim Cameron movie!! It will be worth waiting and it'll be worth every penny paid for the ticket!

    I can't wait to see the trailer of this movie
    I agree with you. But you know. It's so hard to wait so long...

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    well its about time. i was at SIGGRAPH in new orleans way,way back in 1995, during a party i was at, i met both james cameron and stan winston. they were showing clips from a few movies they were working on .... titanic, terminator 3D and avatar. needless to say, im over joyed that they are finally getting this ball rolling. after what i saw then, i can wait two years to see the movie.
    "I hate to advocate weird chemicals, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone …
    but they've always worked for me,"

    Hunter S.Thompson

  8. #8
    j7wild Guest
    unless it's a NEW Terminator or Alien or Truel Lies Movie or even a Dark Angel Movie, I am not watching anything by James Cameron anymore!!


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    Why?

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    Quote Originally Posted by j7wild View Post
    unless it's a NEW Terminator or Alien or Truel Lies Movie or even a Dark Angel Movie, I am not watching anything by James Cameron anymore!!

    I think it will be the combination of all those movies

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    Rumors...

    Sigourney Weaver is in it...

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    I will see every damn thing James Cameron does untill either one of us dies! He's the freakin' man!

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    Release date is announced:

    May, 22nd, 2009


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    Belive it, or not...

    First poster. Is it real?


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    Question Supposed image of an alien for "Avatar"

    From JoBlo.com:

    Avatar alien??

    Jun. 26, 2007

    Source: JoBlo. by: Dave Davis

    It's another two whole years before James Cameron's $200 million sci-fi opus AVATAR hits theaters (in 3-D!), and WETA is working away on the special effects extravaganza. It'll probably be a long while before we see anything official, but...

    A JoBlo superspy says this is the first murky glimpse at what could be an alien life form in the flick. It's probably an early test or initial FX stages, but there seems to be some kind of TRON-ish phosphorescent dude with a tail, chillin' in some foliage. Not the clearest of images, but we take what we can get!

    I'm a colossal Cameron fan, but desperately trying to avoid too much info on the flick (no small feat, writing for a movie website). Here's the synopsis for AVATAR: "In the future, Jake, a paraplegic war veteran, is brought to another planet, Pandora, which is inhabited by the Na'vi, a humanoid race with their own language and culture. Those from Earth find themselves at odds with each other and the local culture."

    Thanks again to the daring inside agent!



    Extra Tidbit: The studio hopes thousands of screens will be equipped for digital 3-D by the time AVATAR arrives.

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