Updated April 2016
Avatar is not only a Hindu deity or a user in a multi-user virtual reality environment, but is, of course, also the name of the 2009 movie written and directed by James Cameron. Part of the movie was filmed here in New Zealand, and the end result has been a record breaking box office hit, raking in around $2.8 billion in revenue since its release, becoming the world’s highest grossing film of all time.
During the film’s production, the producers of Avatar worked closely with Weta Workshop, a multi-award winning design facility that specialises in servicing the entertainment and creative industries. Based in Miramar, Wellington, Weta pulled out all the stops for this film, doing New Zealand proud in yet another hugely successful film.
“Avatar is an emotional journey of redemption and revolution. It is the story of a wounded ex-marine, thrust unwillingly into an effort to settle and exploit an exotic planet rich in bio-diversity, who eventually crosses over to lead the indigenous race in a battle for survival…” 20th Century Fox.
(We found this sounds particularly impressive when read out loud in ‘movie trailer’ mode).
Avatar is a visual masterpiece and is especially immersive when viewed in 3D. The special effects are flawless, and weave seamlessly throughout the movie.
Never before has there been a film that has combined cinematography, special effects and storyline together to such an incredibly high standard. The story is easy to follow, adventurous and emotive, and at times, will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. Check out the official Avatar movie site for an even closer Avatar encounter.
Australian actor, Sam Worthington, stars as Jake Sully. Although Worthington was up for the much-coveted role of James Bond, (which went of course to Mr Six-Pack, Daniel Craig) Cameron picked him because in the movie world he was relatively unknown at the time.
Yes, she of the powerful, bald-headed Ripley incarnation is back in the genre she (arguably) does best. The casting of Weaver certainly lends a bit of star-muscle to the project.
We haven’t seen these Avatar movies (and maybe never will), but here’s what we found out about Avatar movies of a bygone age:
Avatar (2004) Director: Jian Hong Kuo
In the near future in the Asian city-state Sintawan, identities are recorded in the CyberLink. The only way around this is using illegal simulated identity implants (sims). A young bounty hunter who makes her living tracking sims, finds herself the unlikely ally of a police detective who suspects the CyberLink is being perverted for an insidious and deadly purpose.
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005) Director: M. Night Shyamalan
In this animated movie for kids, the hostile Fire nation threatens to enslave the Water, Earth, and Air nations, an irresponsible boy must face his destiny as the ‘Avatar’, the Chosen One who can restore the world order.
It is reported that James Cameron has four sequels to his Avatar movie on the go, with all four in production simultaneously. We look forward to seeing more of the spectacular planet Pandora and the Na’vi blue giants.