Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lots of 'Avatar' Updates

Sigourney Weaver, a favorite with sci-fi fans ever since her iconic role as Ripley in "Alien," is among the cast of James Cameron's 3-D sci-fi project "Avatar."

And in a new interview about the film, Weaver supports all the hype that the pioneering technology used on Avatar will lead to an evolution in the filmmaking industry.

That may well be true. Several other films are already reported to be using or considering 3-D.

"Tron Legacy" and "Resident Evil 4" will both add another dimension; it's been rumored that "Iron Man 2" may be converted to 3-D; and filmmakers involved in "Underworld 4" have reportedly expressed an interest in the format.

Weaver told CanMag: "I think this is the kind of movie that changes the way movies are made. I don't think it's going to replace [anything]. The profound thing to me about 3D is how good regular scenes seem in 3D. They seem so natural. You just go, 'Oh yes, this feels right.' That I didn't expect. I expected it to feel odd or novel. It doesn't. It feels like this is the way we should be.

"What also surprised me was there was no waiting around because these were temperamental cameras or there was a lot of gobbledygook. It was so straightforward. It's all digital, so in a way it's faster."

Weaver assured people that, beneath the groundbreaking digital wizardry, "Avatar" is still "a rip-roaring old fashioned adventure romance" with Sam Worthington's lead character the everyman who takes the viewer through the story.

She's also more than happy to play another strong woman, this time a scientist called Grace, and admires Cameron's treatment of female roles: "He respects women. He knows we're smart, we're strong, we go for it. He's just so okay about us being who we are. I think really only Jim could have written it.
"There's so much reality in Grace, this woman who gives up her whole life to concentrate on this thing that she believes in, that's her passion. It's so moving and it has so much wisdom in it about what women are that are different from men. It's just a pleasure."

Cameron also spoke to CanMag and discussed how he used technology to create the blue Na’vi creatures: “We spent a lot of time on the character design and we based them closely on the actors. We found out in our very early testing, going back almost four years with this, that the closer the architecture of the face was to the actor playing the character the better the performance translated. So we actually cast this film looking at and making sure it was a face that we wanted.”

Cameron used the forefront of technology on "Titanic" and says that despite all of the effects he wants to keep everything relevant to the story: "I don't think people came out of the theater buzzing about the neat CG composite shots or the motion capture that was used for all the big crowd scenes. They were talking about the love story and about the emotions. I think that maybe a little earlier in my career I was a little less even or maybe didn't have it quite as much in balance. I think we got in balance on 'Titanic.' I think we got in balance on 'Avatar.'

“There are a lot of technology stories here - the 3-D, the facial performance capture, the CG, all that stuff - but that's not what people want to hear about. They want to hear about the story. So I think it finds it's own level and if you do it right it's transparent.”
Meanwhile, "Avatar" producer Jon Landau has spoken to French magazine Le Film about which movies Cameron might tackle next and what could happen in an "Avatar" sequel.

Cameron has already hinted at a second "Avatar" movie and at finally making "Battle Angel Alita."

According to Slashfilm's translation of the French interview, Landau said of a possible sequel: "If the public likes 'Avatar,' it's a possibility. After all, here we are exploring the surface of the planet Pandora. The interior remains to be seen."

And on what movies he and Cameron aim to do next: "We'll go on to' Battle Angel Alita' and 'The Dive,' a love story in the middle of a dive. James is directing both projects."

Also, all the photos in this post are newly released hi-res pictures from "Avatar," which hits theaters Dec. 18.
More news to come! Catch ya' later!
Source: The Geek Files

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