Thursday, April 22, 2010
By Abbey Khan


After making more than $2.6 billion at the box office worldwide, the hit movie Avatar is out today on Blu-ray and DVD. At a private event in Los Angeles last month, along with other select reporters, I had a chance to sit down with James Cameron and his producing partner Jon Landau to learn more about the DVD and future plans for Avatar.

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Watch this scene now!

According to Cameron, watching the film in Blu-ray HD will be similar to the experience moviegoers had in theaters. “The Blu-ray experience should be equal to the theatrical experience in the sense that it’s 100 percent of the resolution,” he said. “I think people are going to be very satisfied watching the film. I think it’s going to be just as powerful for them and just as emotional for them watching it in the home. I think people have a chance to study it and they can watch scenes several times, they can stop and talk about it.”

Since this box set includes no additional features or extras, fans or first time viewers can watch the film from start to finish as if they are in the movie theater. Another version of the DVD will be released at the end of this year with extras and deleted scenes. Although that version is not yet complete, Landau gave us some insight as to what can be expected. “I think we can look towards a behind the scenes look on how some of the visual effects were done. Blu-ray really affords people to delve deeper and give people choices on how they want to experience the film. I think then we’ll also have an opportunity to make available deleted scenes and make them available at least through a branching mechanism where people can migrate over to them and see what came out of the movie and maybe give us a chance to talk about why it didn’t make it into the movie.”

It’s no coincidence that the DVD release of Avatar is on Earth Day considering the positive impact the film has had on the environment. Landau said, “I think that April 22nd and tying it in with Earth Day is very important for us because I believe that movies that work are movies that have themes that go beyond their genre and to have an opportunity to tie in themes of the movie with a global event through the Earth Day network that reaches 1.5 billion people and is a call to action of sorts where the movie challenges people to open their eyes, I think that’s exactly what it does and is a perfect partnership.”

Environmentalists may see Avatar as sending a positive message, but according to Cameron, some political groups find the film antagonizing. “The right wing doesn’t really love Avatar too much. They see it as anti-military and anti-American, which is really not accurate.” He clarifies, “It’s not anti-American at all, it’s just that Americans feel guilty because they just invaded another country, so it makes them a little sensitive. It’s not anti-military in the sense that the main character is a military character. I love the Marines. I love what they stand for in terms of a sense of duty and commitment, training, all their core values, and Sam Worthington’s character expresses that and so does Michelle Rodriguez’s character. I wouldn’t call that anti-military. The film is definitely against incorrect and morally wrong use of military force, to be the enforcers of a morally corrupt corporate industrial aggression against nature and indigenous cultures.”

With the success of the movie at the box office and the projected success of DVD sales, it’s only natural that Avatar hit the small screen as an animated series for television. “Personally, I thought about doing an animated series even before the movie came out,” Landau said. “We are now trying to sit down and define what we are doing with the sequel. Let’s look at what timeline that is on and let’s look at how we keep the I.P. alive during that inner phase and until we define where the sequel is going to land, I don’t think we can really define the stepping stones that lead us there.”

Avatar is directed by James Cameron and features the voices of Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, and Michelle Rodriguez.

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