Friday, October 22, 2010

Cameron confirms 'Avatar' sequels

LOS ANGELES -- Returning to Pandora is now a sure thing, according to James Cameron. The colourful Canadian-born filmmaker plans to direct two Avatar sequels himself, he said this week at his Hollywood studio.

"It's in progress right now," Cameron said. "I mean, there's a lot of writing, a lot of designing, a lot of tech work that we're going to do. What I can tell you is this: Our plan right now is to make II and III together as a single large production, and release them a year apart."

But the process might take five or six years.

"There shouldn't be any surprise there," he said, mocking himself. While perfecting new Avatar technology, he might make another movie first, Cameron explained during presentations to promote the Nov. 16 release of the Extended Collector's Edition of the original Avatar on Blu-ray.

Meanwhile, Cameron is writing an Avatar novel, with 30 years of back story. He also is deeply involved with eco-activist causes that solicited him after the phenomenal success of Avatar, which is driven by an environmental theme. His focus includes fighting the Alberta tar sands development, which Cameron says is "poisoning" First Nations people and creating "cancer clusters" in communities downstream from the massive oil extraction projects.

THE SEQUELS: Cameron says he wants to make sure that breakthrough technology that turned Avatar into a spectacle is now pushed forward. "We need to future-proof ourselves out five, six years to the end of the third film. So we're taking the time now."

His team is "tooling up a new facility" near his current studio just for the sequels. "It's permanent in the sense that it's designed to span two Avatar films. We're laying all the foundation work right now. Nothing is holding us back." But digital technology moves quickly, and Cameron says Avatar convinced him "there are a lot of things we knew we needed to do better." The goal, he says, is to ensure "we're not obsolete when we make the last movie."

THE NOVEL: "The novel is a big project. My idea for the novel is not a novelization -- which I hate -- where you basically just take the script and put it into prose form, and add a few extra adjectives. What I really want to do is say: 'OK, if this movie were based on a book, what would that book have been?' "

Cameron is already deep into it. The novel will end like the first movie. "I don't give you one frame beyond that. But how about the 30 years before Jake gets to Pandora?"

THE ECO-ACTIVISM: Cameron says he remains committed to select causes among hundreds he has been approached about. "We've had to be selective because we can't get involved in every single cause everywhere. Even if I devoted the rest of my life to it, we can't do everything."

He intensely researches each cause he does support, including fighting the Alberta tar sands project. The goal there is to get the Alberta government and the oil companies to mitigate the effects of pollution, Cameron says.

"It's not me," he said of his influence. "A year ago I couldn't have stood up and done all that stuff -- and nobody would have asked me to. It's really that the movie has created this kind of global consciousness around this idea that we have to do something about our relationship with nature. I'm also not, by the way, delusional that a movie can change the world. But I do believe that, if you put a foot in the right direction and then you follow up ... But I can't wait until I make another Avatar movie (to act). There are too many important things that are happening right now."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Avatar Sequel - James Cameron Plans Historical Deep-Sea Dive

The Avatar Sequel - James Cameron's next big production is already in the works in Australia. The Avatar director is planning on traveling 36,000ft to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean to shoot footage for the sequel to his 2009 block-buster.

To reach such depths, the filmmaker has commissioned engineers to build a custom vessel to explore the deep blue.


According to the Daily Express, the two-seater submersible will come equipped with 3D cameras to record footage underwater.

"We are building a vehicle to do the dive. It's about half-completed in Australia," Cameron said.

If the 56-year-old Oscar-winner makes it to the bottom, he will only the second ever team to do so. A navy lieutenant and a scientist took five hours to descend to the sea floor in 1960.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Will James Cameron Romance Cleopatra Before Avatar 2?

James Cameron is not a man exactly hurting for work: he has the Avatar sequel in active development, has been writing a novel set in the Pandora universe and has at least three other projects bubbling along. So when Deadline reports that Sony is chasing him to direct their epic new take on Cleopatra, starring Angelina Jolie, we raise a quizzical eyebrow and mark it down as a “possible” for now.

But apparently Sony and boss Amy Pascal are of the opinion that he’s the perfect man for the job.

We can see their point – Cameron knows how to do epic and his bigger films (you might have heard of Titanic and Avatar) make big bucks. But while Titanic was a historical drama, Cleopatra would be something else again.

And though the script was the one thing that most people felt was lacking about the ship-set disaster pic, Cleopatra comes with extra assurance – a screenplay by Brian Helgeland that is reportedly "brilliant”, deserving of epic treatment" and all about "what the Romans took from Egypt".

Jolie has been attached for a while, almost since producer Scott Rudin nabbed the rights to the source material, Stacy Schiff’s Cleopatra: A Life, which de-mystifies the woman and discovers her real strengths. So, again: strong woman lead, real Cameron territory.

It’s likely to be expensive and Sony really wants it shooting next year, aiming to capitalise on its new, The Tourist-driven relationship with Jolie. The schedule might be the biggest sticking point, as Cameron would likely put his own films first. But a huge, 3D epic history with a fresh take on Cleopatra, starring Jolie, brought to cinemas by James Cameron? Surely that’d be a thing to see…

James White

Avatar's James Cameron kicks in $1 million

James Cameron, the director of Avatar, the environmental fable masquerading as a 3-D blockbuster, popped a million dollars Friday into the campaign to defeat Proposition 23, a California ballot initiative to suspend the state's global warming law.

Cameron, who has previously embraced such environmental causes as saving the Amazon and battling Canadian tar sands development, is the first entertainment industry figure to make a major donation in the initiative fight. However, another player with deep Hollywood ties, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, held a fundraiser at his home in Brentwood last month to raise money to fight the measure, which he sees as a threat to his legacy of promoting clean energy.

"Mr. Cameron is not only a filmmaker with a conscience," said No on Prop. 23 spokesman Steve Maviglio, "he is willing to put his money where his mouth is when it comes to a fight for California jobs and our clean energy future."

California’s 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act, known as AB 32, is the most aggressive law in the country aimed at controlling pollution from fossil fuel burning that scientists say is disrupting Earth’s climate. It would slash greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 through regulations that would force utilities to get a third of their electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind plants, improve the fuel efficiency of automobiles and cap emissions from industrial plants.

Prop. 23 is mainly funded by oil refiners whose costs would rise under the global warming law. It would suspend the law until unemployment in California drops to 5.5% for a year — a level that historically has rarely been achieved. Current joblessness is over 12%.

Cameron's donation comes as contributions from clean-tech executives, environmental groups and wealthy conservationists opposing Prop. 23 have surged to more than $20 million in the last month, outpacing the $9 million raised so far by the initiative's backers.

Maviglio said opponents of the measure fear that oil companies and other industries affected by the global warming law could pour money into the fight at the last minute. “We are girding for what the oil companies traditionally have done on California ballot measures, when they've dumped millions of dollars into the campaign in the final stretch," he said.

Bill Day, a spokesman for Valero Energy Corp., a Texas-based oil refiner who is the largest contributor to the initiative, said the company "has not made any decisions at this point about additional financial support to the Prop. 23 campaign.”

--Margot Roosevelt

Friday, October 15, 2010

EXCLUSIVE! Will James Cameron Be The One To Direct Angelina Jolie In ‘Cleopatra?’

Everything James Cameron touches becomes virtual movie magic. From Titanic to Avatar he’s got what it takes to win Oscar gold and is hoping to make Cleopatra his next blockbuster hit!

When you hear the name James Cameron, 56, you think A-list movie director. He has worked with the best in the business and has a knack for picking projects that rake in the big bucks. Next on his wish list? According to our sister side Deadline: Hollywood, it’s an adaptation of Cleopatra: The Life by Stacy Schiff. At the helm to play the Queen of the Nile is none other than Hollywood bombshell, humanitarian and mother of six, 35-year-old Angelina Jolie.

It’s the perfect role for Angelina who has expressed a deep interest in portraying one of the most famous women in all of history. This wouldn’t be the first time Angelina played a Queen. She took on the role of Queen Olympias in Alexander.

“I would be honored” to play Cleopatra in an upcoming new biopic,” she told reporters at the Salt premiere. “I haven’t done a historical epic of that nature and she’s always been fascinating to me because I feel like, as much of her story has been done big, it’s never been done accurately. But there’s a lot that would have to come together for that to work.”

With Angelina and James attached to the project, it is almost certain to do well in theaters. Nothing is set in stone yet, but we have a feeling it’ll will be a project we’ll continue to follow.

Sigourney Weaver Hints At Return In ‘Avatar’ Sequel

Even though her scientist character in James Cameron’s “Avatar” didn’t quite make it to the end credits, Sigourney Weaver is nonetheless hinting that she may yet return in the sequel.

Asked about “Avatar 2″, she told Contact News: “Well, I’m not at liberty to talk about it, but anything can happen in science fiction.”

In an interview with, she all but confirmed it when asked whether she would return to the “Aliens” franchise currently going through a reboot.

“No, I don’t think so,” she said. “I think my “Alien” days are over. My “Avatar” days are beginning.”

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Extended Avatar Reissue ‘Ultimate Box Set,’ Says Cameron

Director James Cameron calls the upcoming Avatar: Extended Collector’s Edition “the ultimate box set of Avatar, with everything in it the fans could possibly want.”

In a press release detailing the bonus-packed reissue, which hits stores Nov. 16, Cameron said the set would include an extended cut that’s 16 minutes longer than the original version of the world’s highest-grossing movie, plus documentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, extra artwork and more than 45 minutes of deleted scenes — “everything worth putting into a special edition.”

The three-disc pile-up ($55 Blu-ray, $35 DVD) is perfectly built for Earth’s exhaustive scholars of all things Pandora, at least until a more-extensive edition comes out before Cameron’s planned Avatar sequels premiere.

Avatar: Extended Collector’s Edition even features a family-friendly audio track that strips out the bad words that sci-fi supersoldiers regularly abuse in the movie. The rest of us should be sated by the alternate openings, extra screen time and feature-length documentary “Capturing Avatar.“ I see you, James Cameron. I see you.

4D Avatar movie with more exciting effects lands in Beijing

The 3D Avatar movie was a hit in China, and the film in its 4D version landed in Beijing again on Sept. 29.

On the evening of Sept. 28, the South Korean cinema chain CJ CGV held the opening ceremony of its first movie theater in Beijing. The movie theater, located near the Beijing Olympic center, officially opened for business on Sept. 29, and its first knockout product is the 4D Avatar film.

4D Avatar is even more exciting than the 3D version.

The 4D Avatar movie can create more exciting effects than the 3D version. When watching the 4D film, the audience will find that the seats can move, release aroma, eject water or rotate according to the film story.

For example, when the hero in the film flies a giant bird downwards, the audience will not only have the feeling when watching the 3D movie, they will also hear the wind in their ears, find that the seats are a bit shaky and feel that they seem to be falling as well.

A 4D Avatar ticket is 150 yuan.

The film Avatar hit Chinese screens on Jan. 4 2010 and was still showing in some Beijing cinemas until the end of the May 1 Holiday. The blockbuster movie took in nearly 1.4 billion yuan in China.
Now, the film Avatar has landed in Beijing again with a 4D version and has already started to show in the CGV movie theater near the Beijing Olympic center.

According to Xiang Zheng, the movie theater's marketing manager, a 4D Avatar ticket is 150 yuan and tickets for shows without the effects of wind or ejecting water are sold at the price of 120 yuan.

Xiang said that Avatar will be on show in the theater during all of October because it is the only theater that can allow audiences to perfectly experience the effects of 4D films.

[Trailer] FINALLY! The Avatar XXX Parody We’ve All Been Waiting For.

For those of you who do not follow trends is mainstream pornography, parody films have been making a comeback in the past few years. For those of you who are my mother, just kidding! I wouldn’t know about that sort of stuff. For those of you who aren’t my mother, parodies have hit popular recent movies and TV shows (like Scrubs and The Office) and gone back to the classics (like Three’s Company and Golden Girls, I kid you not).

And now, Hustler has taken on the biggest film ever with the most expensive porn parody ever with This Ain’t Avatar XXX. Yes, they’re blue. Yes, they get their freak on. And yes, it’s in 3D.

While the cast is... aw, who cares. They’re covered in blue paint. The only one that really stands out is Evan Stone. Anyone who grew up with Cinemax in the past decade is very familiar with Stone’s, ahem, body of work. That man is a legend.

Anyway, this version promises to at least be better written than the original. “Let me show you how sky people do it” = my new pick up line.

Watch the safe for work trailer below.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

James Cameron and Friends Soar Weightless in the AVATAR ZERO-G Experience

The Avatar director took 30 high profile passengers out for an experience of various levels of gravity over the weekend, via the Zero-G Experience.

LOS ANGELES, October 12 -- While the man responsible for the world's two biggest box office hits may only be able to take viewers to Pandora through the magic of the silver screen, he just took one step closer to the stars, all in the name of charity.

On October 9th, James Cameron participated in an Avatar-themed event in which 30 passengers took flight aboard G-Force One, a plane owned by the company Zero G, the first company approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to offer weightless flights for the general public.

Performing Avatar-Type Near Space FlightThe event was put into place in order to help raise funds for the X-Prize Foundation, a non-profit group which organizes large-scale international prize competitions, with the purpose of helping stimulate the obtention of funds for scientific research worth more than the given prize itself.

Filmmaker Cameron was joined by a bevy of dignitaries from all branches of business, including Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment; Dr. Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X-Prize Foundation; X-Prize Foundation Board Members Elon Musk (Chairman and CEO of SpaceX) and Rob McEwen (Chairman and CEO of US Gold.

This impressive group was joined on board by three winners who got their seat through winning bids on eBay, whereas 20 seats were sold at 15,000$ apiece. The flight was made on a modified Boeing 727 craft cleverly named "G-Force One", an obvious nod to the presidential plane reserved for the american Commander-in-Chief.

In a flight which mirrored that of NASA training astronauts, G-Force One performed no less than 15 parabolic arcs, during which passengers find themselves in a state of weightlessness, however momentarily. According to sources related to this fund-raising effort, the lucky winning passengers were given the chance to experience various states of gravity, comparable to that of the moon (one sixth Earth's gravity), that of Mars (one third) and complete weightlessness, allowing those aboard to fly like Superman inside the padded cabin.

Enjoying Zero Gravity for a Great Cause

When asked about the popularity of this type of flight as well as its commercial viability, X-Prize founder Dr. Diamandis focused on its value as a fund-raising opportunity. "Entrepreneurs and innovators are creating technologies which are making spaceflight affordable...whether it is flying aboard a Zero-G flight, a sub-orbital flight into space, or a private flight to orbit." He went on to say that the Saturday flight "gathered six X-Prize trustees and 20 philanthropists who believe we can use incentive prizes to drive radical breakthroughs for humanity."

James Cameron, known for his interest in all things teerestrial and above (as seen in the documentary Ghosts of the Abyss) echoed the words of his fellow passenger by pointing to the scientific potential such events may help push forward. "The rapid acceleration of technology is enabling small teams to conduct exploration that was only possible by national governments. The X-Prize Foundation helps to set and incentivize audacious and worthy targets."

The Oscar-winning director went on to state that "if Avatar has created heightened interest on the importance of caring for our environment, science exploration and the potential for groundbreaking innovation then we have succeeded."

Avatar Still Making the News

The film, which has netted over 760 million dollars domestically, is the subject of much talk as of late, with the re-release of a slightly longer theatrical cut which made an appearance in theatres in late August. After the best-selling release of a bare bones DVD and Bluray offering in April 2010, Cameron promised a full-blown collector's set due out November 16th, touted as the definitive version of his latest masterpiece.

Look for the detailed review of this new version, when the title hits stores. Meanwhile, to learn more about the fund-raising groups mentioned in this news item, go to, or

Avatar Extended Collector's Edition Trailer with New Footage

Fox Home Entertainment has provided us with a brand new trailer for Avatar's upcoming Extended Collector's Edition DVD and Blu-ray, which will both be available in three-disc sets on November 16. Click on the video player below for a glimpse at some of the new footage you can expect on these special edition discs. You can also take a look at the cover art images and special features below:

Avatar Extended Collection's Edition: 3-Disc Collector's Edition Blu-ray:

Disc One

* Original Theatrical Version
* Special Edition Re-Release
* Collector's Extended Cut
* 16 more minutes and exclusive alternate opening
* Family Audio Track (All Objectionable Language Removed)
* Original Theatrical Release
* Special Edition Re-release

Disc Two

* "Capturing Avatar" An in-depth feature length documentary with James Cameron, Jon Landau and cast and crew
* Deleted Scenes - including over 45 minutes of new never-before-seen deleted scenes
* Production Materials

Disc Three

* Open "Pandora's Box" and go deeper into the filmmaker process
* Interactive Scene Deconstruction: Explore the various stages of production through 3 different viewing modes
* Production Shorts: 17 featurettes covering performance capture, scoring the film, 3D fusion camera, stunts and much more
* Avatar Archives including original scriptment, 300 page screenplay and the extensive Pandorapedia
* BD-live Portal with additional bonus materials

Avatar Collector's Edition: 3-Disc Special Edition DVD:

Disc One

* Original Theatrical Version
* Special Edition Re-release
* Collector's Extended Cut
* 16 more minutes and exclusive alternate opening

Disc Two

* Original Theatrical Version
* Special Edition Re-release
* Collector's Extended Cut

Disc Three

* "Capturing Avatar" An in-depth feature length documentary with James Cameron, Jon Landau and cast and crew
* Deleted Scenes - including over 45 minutes of new never-before-seen deleted scenes

Jessica Alba up for Avatar sequel

Jessica Alba has revealed she would be up for appearing in Avatar 2.

The US actress would relish the thought of working with filmmaker James Cameron again, after he gave her her big break when he picked her to star in cult TV series Dark Angel.

"He knows where to find me - I'm always available to him," she told GQ.

"If we can work together and have a successful movie and make a lot of money, then great. But most importantly, he's my friend."

Jessica, who next stars in Robert Rodriguez's Machete, added: "Career-wise, the most impactful people for me have been James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez."

The 29-year-old also admitted she felt nervous around Robert De Niro, who she co-stars with in the slasher thriller.

"It felt like I was dreaming. You work with De Niro and you suddenly feel totally different," she said.

"My heart was beating fast, I got tongue-tied, I was sweating and so nervous. But he was so sweet, and gentle, calm, quiet and kept to himself."

She couldn't resist asking him for advice: "I said to him, 'Robert, please help me, I don't want to f**k this up, please don't let me suck'."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The 'Avatar' sequel: An instant guide

James Cameron is taking his cameras underwater — to the deepest, most treacherous spot in the ocean — for the sci-fi follow-up. Why make things easy?

The first Avatar set records as both the most expensive movie ever (with estimated production costs as high as $310 million) and the most profitable (becoming the first film to gross over $2 billion worldwide). If you thought James Cameron would hold back when it comes to making a sequel, you'd be wrong. (Watch a report about the "Avatar" sequel.) Here, a quick guide:

The sequel will be set underwater, right?
Yes. Cameron told the Los Angeles Times in April that Avatar 2 would be focusing on the ocean worlds of Pandora, the fictional planet introduced in the first film. Cameron promises the sequel will be "rich and diverse and crazy and imaginative."

How challenging is it to make an underwater film?
It would be a lot easier if Cameron were creating his world from scratch in a special-effects studio. Instead, he wants to take cameras to one of the least hospitable regions on earth — the Mariana Trench, almost seven miles beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

Why would he tackle such a location?
For the challenge and also, some say, for a potential $10 million prize that the X Prize Foundation is expected to offer would-be explorers who can successfully descend to the Mariana Trench — something only two people have ever done before. The director wants to film at 36,000 ft. — a depth at which no existing submarine can withstand the enormous pressures. Even the strongest military submersible can only descend to 3,000 ft.

How will he get down there, then?
He'll build his own submarine, of course. Cameron has hired a team of Australian engineers to conceive and construct an underwater vessel that can not only handle the fierce conditions but also function as an underwater 3D studio.

What will Cameron be filming at the bottom of the ocean floor?
3D footage that would be incorporated into the Avatar sequel. For "a very basic idea of what Cameron might encounter," suggests Nicholas Jackson at The Atlantic, take a look at this simulated video from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. If Cameron is expecting the bright blues and greens of Pandora, says Michael Hanlon at The Daily Mail, he won't find them in "this inky world of greys and browns."

How much underwater filming experience does Cameron have?
A considerable amount. Cameron is something of a deep sea maven, having filmed two documentaries on the mysteries of the ocean — Ghosts of the Abyss (2003) and Aliens of the Deep (2005) — and memorably incorporated footage of the sunken Titanic into his Oscar-winning blockbuster of the same name. He already owns several submarines.

Should the Avatar actors be worried?
They're not expected to join Cameron in the Mariana Trench, but Cameron has a history of allegedly tormenting actors underwater. During the filming of 1989's The Abyss, he put those playing deep sea divers through such strenuous paces that one (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) reportedly had a nervous breakdown. After the six month, 70 hour-a-week shoot was finished, Cameron had limited sympathy for his stars. "For every hour they spent trying to figure out what magazine to read, we spent an hour at the bottom of the tank breathing compressed air,'' he told The New York Times.