Speaking at E3, the giant videogames expo currently running in LA, James Cameron has revealed some juicy morsels about Avatar, his upcoming sci-fi adventure. As part of an introduction to the Ubisoft videogame tie-in, Cameron spoke at great length about the idea behind the movie, the process involved and the licence’s translation to videogame form.
The big-budget 3D blockbuster, due for release this winter, has so far been well shielded from the media, so Cameron’s speech will be welcomed by sci-fi fans the world over. In it, Cameron reveals that he wrote the treatment for Avatar “14 years ago” and it was the likes of photorealistic characters such as Lord Of The Rings’ Gollum that encouraged him to dust off the project.
The director went on to describe what fans can expect from the movie’s fictional world, Pandora, on which the story is based. Pandora, as it turns out, isn’t actually a planet, but a moon “full of incredible life forms such as 1,000 foot-tall trees.” It’s also home to the Na’vi, “a humanoid race that lives at a state that we would consider to be primitive, but who ultimately prove to be much wiser than we are.” Cameron describes them as being ten-feet tall, with blue skin and tiger-like stripes. The atmosphere of Pandora, however, is toxic to humans so, in order to mine it, the 22nd Century visitors create human-Na’vi hybrids called Avatars, and according to Cameron these are “living, breathing bodies in the real world, not synthetic alter-egos” that are controlled by human drivers back on base.
Before going on to talk about the game, Cameron described the movie as being like “dreaming with your eyes wide open” and that it features “the mother of all battles”.
Reports are also circulating that an extended preview of James Cameron’s Avatar has been shown to select journalists at E3. If these rumours are proved correct, sci-fi fans can realistically expect a trailer in the coming weeks.
Avatar is due for release 18 December and you can check out the entirety of James Cameron’s E3 speech below, courtesy of G4.