Few films are as hotly anticipated this December as Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel, but let’s not talk about that. Instead, we’ve got a quick update on a film that just may be this year’s Juno and the sleeper-hit of 2009… James Cameron’s Avatar.
Avatar is Cameron’s first feature film since Titanic, and the buzz is insanely high for what promises to be a 3-D action/adventure/sci-fi/fantasy hybrid of epic proportions. At least that’s what movie blogs (like ours!) have been saying since the movie was first announced… But the details have been sparse as to the film’s storyline and content. We already knew that the film follows the story of a Marine (Sam Worthington) working on the distant planet of Pandora which is inhabited by a humanoid race known as the Na’vi. He attempts to settle the planet as an alternative home for humanity, but he gets in too deep with the Na’vi and ultimately crosses over to lead the indigenous race in a battle for survival.
Cameron appeared at E3 yesterday ostensibly to discuss the Avatar videogame adaptation but also to share a bit more about his film. Some of the highlights include: Pandora is the large moon of a gas giant planet called Polyphemus, and is earth-like with lush rainforests, thousand-foot tall trees, and a myriad of creatures, some of which are quite beautiful and some of which are quite terrifying… the Na’vi are ten feet tall, with blue skin, stripes like tigers, and long tails who live harmoniously in their forest environment when humans aren’t trampling their planet. A primitive culture with bows and arrows they ultimately prove to be much wiser than we humans… the major conceit of the story is a human/Na’vi hybrid called Avatars created through genetic engineering, they’re living breathing bodies in a real world controlled by a human driver who projects their consciousness by a technology that links their mind to the Avatar body while their human body is in a coma-like state… Worthington plays Jake Sully, a Marine wounded and paralyzed in combat, who can walk, run, and live again as the Avatar, and he falls in love with a Na’vi girl who’s a smoking hot action character.
And the most exciting thing James Cameron says in the entire presentation? “The battle at end of movie is the mother of all battles with human technology, helicopter gunships, and all kinds of futuristic weaponry against the Na’vi giants riding their creatures which include the formidable flying banshees.” That battle more than anything else is the number one reason why I will be seeing Avatar on opening day. Cameron knows action, and the opening of T2 was only a hint of what the man could do with a full-scale battle scene. Check out the video courtesy of G4 for more from the man himself.
Thoughts? More than one person has already pointed out the major Dances With Wolves vibe coming from the story, but as long as the action is as hardcore and epic (and not cartoonish) as Cameron implies that’s fine with me.
Has Cameron sold you on Avatar yet?