<strong><em>Avatar</em></strong>e Footage seen at Cinema Expo

In a recent story from The Hollywood Reporter James Cameron unveiled 24 minutes of his 3D, sci-fi film Avatar at the Cinema Expo.

The film stars Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana and Stephen Lang. On hand at the RAI convention center (in addition to Cameron) to talk about this $300 million production were the film's producer Jon Landau, and Fox's Jim Gianopulos.

"Three years ago, I stood up here and said the 3D renaissance is coming," Cameron started. "And from what we've seen in the business, we can now say it has arrived."

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In Avatar, 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.

Cameron said that the assemblage of footage he was showing came from the first third of the film. He also showcased some images from not yet finished portions of battle scenes later in the film. These involved the earthlings and the aliens fighting over control of the fantasy world Pandora.

According to Cameron, later in the film the action comes non-stop at viewers. Worthington will be "a remote-controlled character created by melding his crippled human form into a super-human being -- whose fate lies ultimately in doing battle with his own former race."

Members of the media that covered the event were not allowed to discuss Avatar images, nor could they interview members of the viewing audience. The footage that was screened received a very enthusiastic response.

Cameron is really ringing the bell for theater owners to bring out the new 3D capability. However, at present he knows that the film will have to play in both conventional and extra-dimensional venues.

"I just want to say that I think Avatar is going to play great in 3D, 2D, any 'D.' " said Cameron.

A lot of the technology that was used to record the actor's performances was created especially for Avatar, and the crews behind the effects at WETA Digital in New Zealand and Industrial Light + Magic in Northern California.

Avatar comes to theaters on December 18 from 20th Century Fox.

Evan Jacobs at Movieweb
Evan Jacobs