Monday, June 1, 2009

NEWS: Cameron Talks Avatar...At Least The Videogame...

So today was the official start of E3, and alongside the hoopla over the horribly timed Project Natal for XBox360, the first trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic, and the announcement that Metal Gear Solid will be making it's way to the afforementioned 360, there was one huge piece of news, that also swept over to the film world.

During Ubisoft's showcase, director James Cameron made an appearance to primarily talk Avatar, the videogame, but also drop some hints as to what we can expect from the film itself. I had a chance to check out the showcase live during G4's broadcast, but the geniuses over at /Film actually wrote down his key points:

- Ubisoft acquired a graphic design company named Hybride, which is creating over 100 of the CGI shots for the film.

- Cameron said that the film takes place in the 22nd century, on a large Earth-like moon called Pandora, with rain forests, 1000-foot tall trees, and many different types of critters. He described the Na’vi as 10 feet tall and striped like tigers.

- Weta provided Ubisoft with all the assets , models, and animations used in the movie. Cameron says that the game will have its own creatures, weapons and settings, some of which was designed by Ubisoft, and some of which were created specifically for the game only by Weta. Cameron says that he even incorporated assets that Ubisoft created for the game into the movie. because he liked the designs so much.

- The game tells a story that parallels the film, so you could play the whole game without spoiling the movie.

- The player can choose to be either human of Na’vi, and the who the bad guy is depends on which side you choose to play as.

- Cameron said that most video games based on movie properties kinda suck, and that he hopes revolutionize the model of movie to video game adaptations.

- “This film is way beyond anything I’ve ever done before, which is why its taken four years to date, and we have seven months to go,” said Cameron. “The live-action portion was filmed with cameras that took us 9 years to develop.”

- Ubisoft has been working on the game for over two and a half years.

- It will be the first major stereoscopic video game title developed in 3D from the ground up.

- Ubisoft also announced that they will be working with Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson on a video game version of the upcoming Tintin movies.

- No footage was shown during the press conference, but a demo will be available to press at E3.

- Cameron said that playing the new demo was the first time he’s ever been scared while playing a video game.

/Film reader Person Mcdude adds:

- He said that the air on Pandora isnt breathable by humans, so they genetically engineered a hybrid human/naavi, hence the name “avatar”.
the hybrids are able to control robots by “jacking” their nervous system into the robots. while jacked in, the individual is in a comatose state, but their consciousness is able to move the robot as if it were an extension of his/her body.

- One of the overriding themes of the movie is learning to view things from another perspective. Cameron hinted at a showdown between the mechanized, technologically reliant humans vs. the natural, more primal, almost tribal like Na’avi. The main character, a human (worthington?) becomes increasingly sympathetic towards the Na’vi and must choose sides at the end. he sounded very excited and said this was a huge, amazing fight scene.

Awesome, awesome and awesome. I only wish that they would have shown some footage of not only the videogame, but the film itself. Sort of like a movie based videogame tv spot. Something. Instead, we get to see the look and feel of the film, or what we all think could be the look of the film, via these three screenshots (thanks to

Go see something good!

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