Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) Top 10 Takeaways: Holdover 'Ant-Man' Tops Blah Week, Summer Slot for 'Southpaw' Pays Off Top 10 Takeaways: Holdover 'Ant-Man' Tops Blah Week, Summer Slot for 'Southpaw' Pays Off Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991 Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991

Comic-Con: Cameron Wows with Avatar

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 24, 2009 at 3:11AM

Twentieth Century Fox co-chairman Tom Rothman came down to San Diego to intro James Cameron, who in turn presented 24 minutes of footage from Avatar. The studio has backed Cameron's R & D for the dozen years since Titanic. After earning credibility with the deep sea documentary world with a series of 3D docs, Cameron finally opted to chase the promise of advanced 3-D motion-capture with an original story that had been sitting in his drawer for 14 years. But no matter how fabulous this movie looks--and it wowed Hall H, the perfect target audience for a sci-fi adventure--Fox has to market this movie without major stars, branding and the kind of wide release a blockbuster usually commands. That's why they're showing 15 minutes of footage, free, on Avatar Day on August 21 on 35 IMAX theaters around the world.
0

ComicConBannerDSCN8969

Twentieth Century Fox co-chairman Tom Rothman came down to San Diego to intro James Cameron, who in turn presented 24 minutes of footage from Avatar. The studio has backed Cameron's R & D for the dozen years since Titanic. After earning credibility with the deep sea documentary world with a series of 3D docs, Cameron finally opted to chase the promise of advanced 3-D motion-capture with an original story that had been sitting in his drawer for 14 years. But no matter how fabulous this movie looks--and it wowed Hall H, the perfect target audience for a sci-fi adventure--Fox has to market this movie without major stars, branding and the kind of wide release a blockbuster usually commands. That's why they're showing 15 minutes of footage, free, on Avatar Day on August 21 on 35 IMAX theaters around the world.

DSCN8979

The footage shows us a space station, where we meet a tight-necked colonel (Stephen Lang) warning new recruits about the dangers of Planet Pandora, home to an indigenous alien race, the Nav'i. Sam Worthington arrives in a wheelchair. He's a paraplegic whose twin brother has died; he's going to inherit his 10-foot blue, long-tailed avatar, a half-human, half-alien creature that humans can link to and send to explore the inhospitable planet. Cameron vet Sigourney Weaver (Aliens) plays a scientist on a mission to save the planet from degradation and

DSCN8977exploitation.

The footage shows us a space station, where we meet a tight-necked colonel (Stephen Lang) warning new recruits about the dangers of Planet Pandora, home to an indigenous alien race, the Nav'i. Sam Worthington arrives in a wheelchair. He's a paraplegic whose twin brother has died; he's going to inherit his 10-foot blue, long-tailed avatar, a half-human, half-alien creature that humans can link to and send to explore the inhospitable planet. Cameron vet Sigourney Weaver (Aliens) plays a scientist on a mission to save the planet from degradation and

DSCN8977exploitation.

The story is immediately exotic and compelling. But the magic comes from the 3D immersion into the exotic fauna and flora of the Pandora jungle where our hero is saved from certain death by a lovely native girl (Zoe Saldana). She tells him he's like a stupid child stumbling and destroying things. But when he attracts white wood sprites that look like deep sea creatures, she wonders if he might have some spiritual potential and takes him to her people. As night falls the rich jungle becomes as luminescent and brightly colored as a coral reef.

In another stunning sequence, the native warriors challenge Nav'i's new boyfriend to tame a flying pterodactyl-like banshee. He wrestles the creature into submission and flies him into a huge canyon.

ComicconavatarDSCN8986

The audience roared with support for Avatar, as Cameron, Weaver, Lang and Saldana talked to the crowd, and later, the backstage media. (Worthington appeared via video from the European set of Clash of the Titans.) But the movie is clearly ahead of the curve, which could make it a must-see event. But it's also likely to play best for fans of sci-fi adventure, which could limit it to a degree. Wisely, Cameron says he has no interest in competing with his own boxoffice. He's a filmmaker who wants to pursue the edge of technology and reach millions of people around the world. Avatar will be a must-see when it opens on December 18.


This article is related to: Directors, Festivals, Franchises, Genres, James Cameron, Comic-Con, Avatar, Sci-fi


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.