James Cameron's Avatar revolutionized the world of filmmaking. The 2009 film, which took place in a fictional universe, created a new language, was shot completely in 3D and featured a seamless blend of live action and CGI characters. The film raked in $2.8 billion in global revenue, becoming the first film in history make more than $2 billion at the box office.
Now, the Walt Disney Company hopes to combine Avatar's magic with some of its own.
Disney announced a long-term creative partnership Tuesday with James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment, a deal which will bring the extraterrestrial worlds of James Cameron's Avatar to Disney Parks. First on the menu, Walt Disney Imagineering will begin construction on an Avatar-themed land in Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom theme park.
James Cameron, Jon Landau, and their team at Lightstorm Entertainment will serve as creative consultants as the Walt Disney Imagineers dream up ways for Disney park guests to experience the world of Avatar like never before. Disney's Animal Kingdom, which was originally built to preach the importance of harmony between humans and nature, will serve as an appropriate backdrop for the first Avatar-themed area.
The film Avatar, an adventure flick with an environmental conscience, takes place in the mid-22nd century, where humans mine a precious mineral called unobtanium on a dangerous planet called Pandora. Humans co-exist with the native species, particularly a local tribe of cat-like humanoids called Na'vi, until the humans' need for unobtanium breaks the fragile harmony with the natives.
The film went on to become the highest grossing film of all-time in the U.S. and Canada, surpassing Titanic, another film directed by Cameron. Avatar was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, but only won three Oscars, for Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects, and Best Cinematography.
Cameron has signed on with 20th Century Fox to make two more Avatar sequels.
Disney Imagineers will have plenty of inspiration to work from, but the film's tropical jungles, bioluminescent flora, giant trees, and countless memorable creatures and characters will be a perfect fit for Disney's Animal Kingdom. The company is in the planning stages and expects construction of the first Avatar area to begin in Animal Kingdom by 2013.