Tuesday, January 09, 2007

RE: Two Avatars in one day.

20th Century Fox finally let the cat out of the bag via The New York Times that they have officially given James Cameron the go-ahead on Avatar. With a $200 budget. I wonder if the studio actually plans to hold Jim to those numbers, because he always goes over budget by about 30-50% (we could be talking about a $300 million movie here, folks.

They have also announced the male lead for the project, a Mr. Sam Worthington.

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Note that this person is not a star whatsoever. That means that the bulk of this 200 million is going towards what we see rather than who. The movie hits theaters on Memorial Day 2009 (talk about advanced eh?). James Cameron gave AICN an exclusive interview, telling them that the reason it will take so long is because all characters, both humanoid and non, will be rendered via a new photorealistic CGI process that he is co-inventing with Weta digital. The best part of the interview came when Harry Knowles asked Cameron why the studio decided to announce the project so far in advance to which the director-scientist said "The studio just wanted to drive a stake in the ground and say 'We’re doing this, Watch out Summer 2009, don’t plan your big summer movie on Memorial day Mr Spielberg or Disney or whatever.'" I guess it was just the polite thing for him to do.

But if that wasn't enough Avatar news for you, Nickelodeon told the trades yesterday that they will be moving forward on a TRILOGY of Avatar films as well, courtesy of director M. Night Shymalan.

I'll let you catch your breath.

Take heart, however, because this particular Avatar project is based on some faux anime project that runs on Nickelodeon.
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I have only caught glimpses of this show, and from what I have seen so far, if you were to take the most redundant plot devices of all actual anime, put them in a cartoon with sub-par, computer assisted 2-D animation, you pretty much have this series in a nutshell unless someone proves me wrong.

A rep from 20th Century Fox (the one making Cameron's Avatar) seemed less than pleased that another film could confuse business away from their $200 million project. He told Variety, "We own the movie title 'Avatar.' There won't be another film called 'Avatar' coming from anyplace." Ouch! Well, we shall see how this pans out. If you guys remember, this isn't the first time that Shymalan has been involved with a film that shared its name with a completely different project. The Village was originally titled The Woods until May-director Lucky McKee revealed that he had copyrighted the name first, forcing Shymalan to choose the alternate title.

Personally, I just hope that both directors make excellent films. Cameron and Shymalan are coming from two completely different places career-wise. One has been in long hiatus since he directed one of the highest grossing films ever made, while the other is walking wounded after helming one of the biggest duds of last year. The expectations for both parties to perform is extremely high.


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4:13 AM  

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