Recently, James Cameron spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the progress of his next feature film, Avatar, currently in pre-production. The film, previously known as Project 880, follows a paraplegic war veteran from Earth who is brought to another planet inhabited by a humanoid race at odds with Earth's citizens.
The Titanic director is targeting for a summer 2008 release for the film and hopes to start shooting a cast of unknown actors on a stage in Los Angeles by February, 2007. Cameron says "Believe it or not, the shooting is a very small part of it ... It's a very, very big project where the shooting is like a month and a half -- not really very much. There's just so much CG, and the visual effects are a huge component. A lot of it is performance capture. We use different techniques (from, for example, Sony Pictures' upcoming Monster House), but it's the same general idea."
Cameron indicates that for this film, he would prefer not using a high-profile actor in the role of the main character and says "We're not looking at anyone, we're looking at everyone. There are a number of characters that we can cast from that up-and-coming talent pool. They're not going to be well-known names -- until after the movie, hopefully."