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Information about Avatar (2009 film)

Avatar is an upcoming 3-D science fiction epic movie directed by James Cameron, due to be released on dec. 18, 2009 (10 years ago) by 20th Century Fox. The movie is Lightstorm Entertainment's latest project, and Cameron's first fictional movie in 12 years, having last directed Titanic in 1997 (22 years ago). With an estimated budget of $237 million, Avatar is currently the fourth most expensive film.

Trailer



Cast

  • Sam Worthington as Jake Sully. Cameron cast the Australian actor after searching the world for promising young actors, preferring relative unknowns to keep the budget down. Worthington auditioned twice early in development, and he has signed on for possible sequels. Cameron felt because Worthington had not done a major film, he was "game for anything", giving the character "a quality that is really real. He has that quality of being a guy you'd want to have a beer with, and he ultimately becomes a leader who transforms the world."
  • Zoe Saldaña as Neytiri, a princess of the Na'vi tribe central to the story, who is attracted to Jake because of his bravery. The character, like all the Na'vi, will be entirely computer generated. Saldaña has also signed on for sequels.
  • Sigourney Weaver as Dr. Grace Augustine, a botanist who mentors Jake Sully. Weaver dyed her hair red for the part. Her character was named "Shipley" at one point. The character reminded Weaver of Cameron, being "very driven and very idealistic".
  • Michelle Rodriguez (15 walls) as Trudy Chacon, a retired Marine pilot. Cameron had wanted to work with Rodriguez since seeing her in Girlfight.
  • Giovanni Ribisi as SecFor administrator Carter Selfridge, a passive-aggressive character.
  • Joel David Moore as Norm Spellman, an anthropologist who studies plant and nature life (like Weaver's character).
  • CCH Pounder as Moha, the Na'vi queen.
  • Stephen Lang as SecFor's Colonel Miles Quaritch. Lang had unsuccessfully auditioned for a role in Cameron's Aliens (1986, 33 years ago); the director remembered Lang and cast him in Avatar. Michael Biehn was considered for the role of Colonel Quaritch. He met with James Cameron three times and saw some of the 3D footage, but in the end it simply came down to the fact that Cameron didn't want people thinking it was Aliens all over again, as Sigourney Weaver had already been cast.
  • Dileep Rao as Dr. Max Patel.
  • Matt Gerald as SecFor's Corporal Lyle Wainfleet, the second-most prominent villain, after Quaritch.

Development

In 1994 (25 years ago), director James Cameron wrote an 80-page scriptment for Avatar. Cameron said his inspiration was "every single science fiction book I read as a kid", and that he was particularly striving to update the style of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter series. Cameron saw his story as being about how advanced civilizations supplant indigenous cultures, in either actively genocidal or more unpremeditated ways, and was influenced by the story of Pocahontas. In Avatar, humanity extends that practice to entire planets. The premise of a paralyzed man whose mind is remotely controlling an alien body is very similar to Poul Anderson's 1957 (62 years ago) short story "Call me Joe."In Aug. 1996 (23 years ago), Cameron announced that after completing Titanic, he would movie Avatar, which would make use of "synthetic", or computer-generated, actors. The project would cost $100 million and involve at least six actors in leading roles "who appear to be real but do not exist in the physical world". Special effects house Digital Domain, with whom Cameron has a partnership, joined the project, which was supposed to begin production in the summer of 1997 (22 years ago) for a 1999 (20 years ago) release. However, that was not to be, due to the special effects he wanted ran the budget up to $400 million, which made the movie impossible to be made.

In Jun. 2005 (14 years ago), director Cameron was announced to be working on a project tentatively titled "Project 880", concurrently with another project, Battle Angel. By December, Cameron said that he planned to movie Battle Angel first for a summer 2007 (12 years ago) release, and to movie Project 880 for a 2009 (10 years ago) release. In Feb. 2006 (13 years ago), Cameron said he had switched goals for the two movie projects – Project 880 was now scheduled for 2007 (12 years ago) and Battle Angel for 2009 (10 years ago). He indicated that the release of Project 880 would possibly be delayed until 2008 (11 years ago). Later that February, Cameron revealed that Project 880 was "a retooled version of Avatar", a movie that he had tried to make years earlier, citing the technological advances in the creation of the computer-generated characters Gollum, King Kong (18 walls) and Davy Jones. Cameron had chosen Avatar over Battle Angel after completing a five-day camera test in the previous year.

Cameron's early scriptment for Avatar had circulated on the Internet for years. When the project was re-announced, copies were subsequently removed from websites. In Jun. 2006 (13 years ago), Cameron said that if Avatar was successful, he hoped to make two sequels to the film.

From Jan. to Apr. 2006 (13 years ago), Cameron worked on the script. Working with Paul Frommer, linguist and Director of the Center for Management Communication at USC, he developed a whole language and culture for the Na'vi, the indigenous race on Pandora. In July, Cameron announced that he would movie Avatar for a summer 2008 (11 years ago) release and planned to begin principal photography with an established cast by Feb. 2007 (12 years ago). The following August, the visual effects studio Weta Digital signed on to help Cameron produce Avatar. Stan Winston, who had collaborated with Cameron in the past, joined Avatar to help with the film's designs. In sep. 2006 (13 years ago), Cameron was announced to be using his own Reality Camera System to movie in 3-D. The system would use two high-definition cameras in a single camera body to create depth perception.

Release

Avatar was originally set for release on May 22, 2009 (10 years ago) during filming, but the movie was pushed back to dec. 18, 2009 (10 years ago). This was done to allow more post-production time, and to also give more time for theaters worldwide to install 3D projectors. The film's aspect ratio will be 16:9, but a CinemaScope format will be extracted for 2D screenings. Avatar will also be released in IMAX 3D. The first photo (wallpaper) of the movie was released on 14 Aug. 2009 (10 years ago), and Empire Magazine will release exclusive images (wallpaper) from the movie in its Oct. issue.

Marketing

Cameron chose Ubisoft to create an Avatar game for the movie in 2007 (12 years ago). The filmmakers and game developers collaborated heavily, and Cameron decided to include some of Ubisoft's vehicle and creature designs into the film. A Mattel toy line will debut in Nov. 2009 (10 years ago). Each figure, creature, or vehicle will come with a 3D tag which can be scanned by a webcam, a technology also known as augmented reality, allowing the user to unlock content about the Avatar universe on their computer.

Cameron, producer Jon Landau, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, and Sigourney Weaver appeared at a panel, moderated by Tom Rothman, at the 2009 (10 years ago) San Diego Comic-Con on Jul. 23. 25 minutes of footage was screened in Dolby 3D. Weaver and Cameron appeared at additional panels to promote the film, speaking on the 23rd and 24th respectively. James Cameron announced at the Comic-Con Avatar Panel that Aug. 21 will be 'Avatar Day'. On this day the trailer for the movie was released in all theatrical formats. The official game and toy line of the movie will also be fully unveiled on this day. Avatar will be the first movie to feature the new 20th Century Fox logo, which was first used in the trailer of the film.

The first teaser was released online on Aug. 20, 2009 (10 years ago) to very mixed reviews, then in theaters with Inglourious Basterds (9 walls) and Post Grad on Aug. 21, 2009 (10 years ago). An extended version in IMAX 3D received overwhelmingly positive reviews. The Hollywood Reporter said that audience expectations were coloured by "the [same] establishment skepticism that preceded Titanic" and suggested the showing reflected the desire for original storytelling. The teaser-trailer has reached the reputation of among the most viewed ones in the history of the filming marketing, reaching the 1st place of all trailers viewed on Apple.com with 4 million views.

Source: en.wikipedia.org


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