This week an alien sketch from James Cameron's upcoming 3-D film Avatar hit the net. But it was a fake. The director tells AICN via an email:

You recently posted some artwork of a supposed Na'vi character. Don't know where you got it but it's spurious. I've never seen that piece of art. We had a lot of free-ranging conceptual stuff in the early days of design two and a half years ago, and it might be something that was done then but not shown to me, but it is definitely not remotely our actual character design. Aside from two legs, two arms and a tail, it doesn't have any features in common with our final designs. If I had to guess I'd say it's a piece of fan art based on the description of the Na'vi from the old treatment which was leaked twelve years ago. That description is obsolete relative to the shooting script, since things have changed a lot over the years.

Cameron says about his cast:

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Each one of my actors is turning in incandescent work --- Sigourney, Sam Worthington, Stephen Lange, Giovanni Ribisi, Michelle Rodriguez, Joel David Moore ---- they're each so right on that it's impossible to think of anyone else playing their characters. And the sets which were built down here by the Kiwi art department are the best I've ever worked with. The detailing is incredible. I want to bring some of the vehicles home and park them on my tennis court.

About the filming process, he states:

The first couple of weeks we were still coming up to speed, figuring out how to control the interocular and convergence for all different types of shooting situations. But we've got that dialed in now. We've reworked the camera software on the fly, using a set of look-up curves we wrote ourselves, so now the cameras basically go to a default interocular setting automatically based on focal length and subject distance --- a kind of "auto-stereo" --- which is working really well. I can be handholding a shot, and decide to crank in on the zoom in the middle of the shot, completely unrehearsed, and our system compensates instantly. It's definitely the most advanced stereo camera system in existence. And the result is enveloping stereo with zero eyestrain or unwanted viewing artifacts. You feel like you're there.

Avatar is set to open May 22nd, 2009.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange