James Cameron has set Sigourney Weaver to return in the three Avatar sequels that are scheduled to begin production later this year. Weaver joins previously announced cast returnees Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldana and Stephen Lang. She also becomes the second star after Lang to be resurrected for the trilogies after the characters they played died in Hollywood’s highest grossing film ever.
Cameron has long made movies with strong heroines, and that was epitomized when he took over Aliens, the sequel to the film made by Ridley Scott, and established Weaver as one of the great female action heroes.
“Sigourney and I have a long creative history, dating back to 1985 when we made Aliens,” Cameron said. “We’re good friends who’ve always worked well together, so it just feels right that she’s coming back for the Avatar sequels. Her character of Grace Augustine, as fans know, died in the first movie, so she’s playing a different and in many ways more challenging character in the upcoming films. We’re both looking forward to this new creative challenge, the latest chapter in our long and continuing collaboration.”
The as yet untitled Avatar sequels will be filmed back-to-back. The release of the first follow-up will be in December 2016, with the second to follow in December 2017, and the third a year later. The films are being produced by Cameron and Jon Landau through their Lightstorm Entertainment. Weaver is repped by UTA and Alan … Read More »
UPDATE: Got a press release with the details for Avatar, which is the first film that Cirque Du Soleil has used for a touring act. Release is below the original story.
BREAKING: How invested is James Cameron in the blue people that populate his Avatar world? Cameron, who’s readying a trio of 3D-shot sequels to Hollywood’s all time highest grossing film, has announced that he will team with Cirque du Soleil to develop an arena-tour show that is inspired by the film. The show will debut in late 2015. He announced it alongside Cirque Du Soleil president/CEO Daniel Lamarre at the C2MTL-Commerce and Creativity Conference.
The timing means the show will debut before the three sequels which, like the original, is financed and distributed by Twentieth Century Fox. Cameron previously worked with with Cirque Du Soleil as exec producer of the Andrew Adamson-directed 3D film Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away.
Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil and Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron announced a new partnership to develop an arena-touring show inspired by the world of Cameron’s history-making motion picture, AVATAR. This “live experience” is expected to debut late 2015 for what will become a global touring schedule.
The announcement was made in Montreal during the international business C2MTL– Commerce + Creativity Conference.
The live production will feature the creative signature drive of Cirque du Soleil in association with Cameron’s and Jon Landau’s Lightstorm Entertainment. The show is
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Fox is fast-tracking the pic now that the Man Of Steel and Dark Knight trilogy veteran is aboard. David S. Goyer will write a treatment for Lightstorm Entertainment’s remake of Fantastic Voyage and executive produce alongside James Cameron, Jon Landau, and Rae Sanchini. The 1966 camp classic followed a group of scientists who are reduced to microscopic size inside a submarine and injected into the body of an sick colleague. The Cold War-era pic starred Steven Welch, Raquel Welch and Donald Pleasance. The updated version will take on a new dimension. Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr first reported on the remake more than three years ago, when Shawn Levy was attached to direct, and we got an update about eight months later. But there’s been radio silence since. Now Fox is eyeing Fantastic Voyage — no relation to the Coolio hit for you old-schoolers, or the Lakeside classic for you graybeards — as a tentpole. No release date is set. Goyer is busy producing Sandman for Warner Bros, and created and writes for Da Vinci’s Demons, which is in its second season on Starz.
Fourth in a series.
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With all its car crashes, explosions, and hair-raising stunts, the film and TV industry is a notoriously dangerous business. But your chances of getting killed while making a movie go up dramatically the minute you step foot inside a helicopter. Indeed, helicopter crashes have taken more lives on film sets than any other type of accident in modern times. Since 1980, 33 film and TV workers — nearly one a year — have been killed in helicopter accidents around the world, 14 in the U.S. and 15 more for American companies shooting abroad.
Related: Safety On Set: Camera Crew Outnumber Stunt Personnel 4-To-1 In On-Set Deaths
In the 1980s, two crashes alone — both being shot on the cheap in the Philippines by the same production company — claimed nine lives in the span of just two years. The ’80s were by far the deadliest decade for helicopter crashes on movie sets, accounting for all but five of the 31 helicopter-related film and TV production fatalities in the last 34 years. The list:
Related: Safety On Set: Three Workers Speak Out
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If you’re keeping track of these things, a Canada-based lawsuit claiming James Cameron‘s Avatar was based on someone else’s work has been thrown out. It’s the fourth legal victory since last year for Cameron, producer Lightstorm Entertainment and 20th Century Fox over similar allegations again the 2009 mega blockbuster. Fox said today a federal court in Vancouver issued an order dismissing the latest complaint filed by local writer and restaurateur Emil Malak, who alleged that the pic copied elements of his script Terra Incognita. Malak was seeking $100M but dismissed the claim after the first day of hearing on Cameron’s motion for summary judgment. Malak originally filed suit in 2010 in BC Supreme Court but dropped that case too.
UPDATE, 11:05 AM: James Cameron has issued a statement through Fox about last week’s Bryant Moore ruling: “Sadly, a cottage industry has arisen of fortune hunting plaintiffs seeking to ‘strike it rich’ by claiming their ideas were the basis for Avatar. As I have previously stated, Avatar was my most personal film, drawing upon themes and concepts that I had been exploring for decades. Our film was also the product of a team of some of the world’s most creative artists and designers, and it is an insult to all of them when these specious claims are made. I am grateful that Judge Titus and the other jurists who have dealt with these cases have recognized the complete lack of merit of these offensive lawsuits.”
PREVIOUS, MONDAY AM: It took over two years but the highest-grossing movie of all time, James Cameron and Fox are finally free of yet another Avatar lawsuit. “In conclusion, the story of Jake Sully and his exploits are the original work of the Defendants and the Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate any valid claim of a violation of his copyrights,” a federal District judge in Maryland wrote late last week of sci-fi writer Bryant Moore’s $2.5 billion lawsuit (read it here). The Memorandum Opinion and a following Order by Judge Roger Titus effectively ends the case with a summary judgment and other orders in Cameron and Fox’s favor. Moore will also have to pay all legal costs in the case.
Related: Sam Worthington & Zoe Saldana To Return For ‘Avatar’ Sequels: Fox Eyeing End Of Year Start Read More »
UPDATED: Avatar stars Sam Worthington and Zoë Saldana will reprise their roles in the next three sequels to James Cameron‘s 2009 sci-fi fantasy blockbuster, Fox announced today. Worthington returns to the franchise as Jake Sully, the wheelchair-bound Marine who finds new life on the alien world of Pandora with the Na’vi people and Neytiri, a Na’vi huntress, in the first $2.8 billion-scoring film. Saldana will reprise her Neytiri role joining Worthington in Avatar 2, Avatar 3, and Avatar 4 which Cameron and Jon Landau will produce via Lightstorm Entertainment. These are new deals for Worthington and Saldana but are basically in line with their previous deals, Deadline is hearing. When a third sequel was added to Cameron’s grand plan, renegotiations were in order.
The currently untitled sequels will be filmed back to back with Avatar 2 set to release in December 2016. The subsequent sequels will follow in December 2017 and 2018, respectively. A start date is still TBA but Fox is eyeing December 2014/January 2015 to begin filming through March 2015. They have to give the actors four months of prep. Deadline hears the plan is to shoot the films’ extensive motion capture scenes first, then film all the live-action footage. But a source with knowledge of the production says it’s ultimately up to … Read More »
Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione talks with host David Bloom about the imminent shakeout in the mammoth list of 76 films vying to join a nine-title shortlist for Oscar’s Best Foreign Language Feature category, a list that includes such highly regarded notables as The Hunt, The Grandmaster, The Past, and The Grand Beauty. They also take a tour around the week’s international box office returns, which were dominated by a halfling’s hot date with a fire-breathing dragon and livened by a suddenly voracious German market; discuss what impact big new tax breaks may have had in encouraging Jim Cameron to take his Na’vi to New Zealand for three Avatar sequels; and celebrate the recent rediscovery of two short films featuring Peter Sellers at a crucial transition early in his extraordinary career.
Global Showbiz Watch episode 19 (.MP3 version)
Global Showbiz Watch episode 19 (.M4A version)
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After making Avatar in Wellington, James Cameron’s three sequels are now also lined up to shoot in New Zealand. The Kiwi government says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox to see the director make each of the next Avatar installments locally. The move doesn’t come as much of a surprise given Cameron/Avatar‘s history Down Under, along with the helmer’s 2012 purchase of oodles of land in South Wairarapa, near Wellington. The news coincides with changes to the tax incentive structure in New Zealand which were also unveiled today. Under the new regs, the new Avatars could qualify for a total rebate of 25%.
When the first Avatar was made in New Zealand, it delivered more than NZ$307M in spend for the local economy. The memo of understanding on the new movies includes several commitments inlcuding a spend of at least NZ$500M ($413.1M) on local production activity – ie, most of the live action shooting and VFX. There’s also an engagement to hire Kiwis in Head of Department roles with about 90% of the live action crew expected to be local. New Zealand will also get to host “at least one” official red carpet premiere. (The original film world premiered in London.) James Cameron and John Landau have also offered to serve as founding members of a new screen advisory board. And, there is language on marketing and promotion of New Zealand and its film industry alongside the three Avatar films; the transfer of technological know-how to New Zealanders; retaining screen production infrastructure in New Zealand that could be used for industry training; and a commitment by both parties to grow the screen sector in New Zealand and to building a long term and productive relationship between the Crown and Lightstorm/Twentieth Century Fox.
Meanwhile, changes to the tax incentive scheme announced by the local government today will see a hike in the rebate from 15% to 20% for international film and television productions. A further 5% will be available for international productions that deliver significant economic benefits to New Zealand. An as-yet undefined points system will determine eligibility. Read More »
James Cameron has won a string of Avatar legal battles recently but it looks like The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board isn’t going to be one of them. Already turned down once, 20th Century Fox was again refused its request to register the “Pandorapedia” name as a trademark on a planned Avatar-related clothing line of tagged T-shirts, PJs and more. The TTAB denied the studio’s appeal on the trademark earlier this month, saying it was too close to the trademark already used by Pandora Sportswear Corp. “We find that the marks PANDORA and PANDORAPEDIA are similar and thus…favors a finding of likelihood of confusion,” said the TTAB in its 8-page opinion (read it here). The opinion was sent out to Fox on November 8. Read More »
A fatal accident back in February 2012 on the documentary DeepSea Challenge has ended up in LA Superior Court. The estate of Michael deGruy on Monday filed a wrongful death and survival claims complaint (read it here) naming James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment as well as Earthship Productions and Cameron Pace Group as defendants. The Oscar-winning director is not named as a defendant. The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified punitive damages as well as pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages to be determined in a 20-day jury trial. DeGruy was on a helicopter that crashed on February 4, 2012, off the coast of Australia during the filming of Cameron’s documentary. Both deGruy and pilot Andrew Wright were killed in the crash and resulting fire. DeGruy had hopped on the chopper to go to a nearby location to film the ocean decent of the specially equipped submarine. The plaintiffs are very clear whose fault they believe that accident was. “The Cameron Defendants, GWP and Does 51-100 knew or should have known that Andrew Wight was incompetent or unfit to fly the subject helicopter and that the subject helicopter was not crashworthy and its design posed a risk of severe injury and/or death in the event of a crash,” the 45-page complaint says.
Related: ‘Avatar’ Theft Plaintiff Loses Bid To Disqualify Judge
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That’s the second Avatar legal loss in a row for Eric Ryder and another win for James Cameron. Three weeks after LA Superior Court Judge Susan Bryant-Deason granted the director’s motion for summary judgment, Ryder’s efforts to have her dismissed from the case have now also failed. Ryder wanted the judge pulled from the case because her husband is a line producer who has worked on Fox projects such as We Bought A Zoo. The plaintiff claimed in a 2011 complaint that Cameron ripped off the 2009 blockbuster from an environmental themed story of his entitled K.R.Z. 2068. Ryder said that execs at Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment had read the story back in the ’90s. Having taken a hit in early October in the case, two weeks ago Ryder’s lawyers alleged a lack of impartiality on the part of Bryant-Deason. Funny thing is Fox aren’t even a defendant in the suit, only Cameron and Lightstorm are. On October 23, the court gave tossed Ryder’s latest maneuver too. “A party simply can’t wait to see what happens in a case, before deciding to investigate or assert known facts as a basic for disqualification for cause. By not filing a timely motion to disqualify, objections to the assigned judge are waived,” wrote Bryant-Deason herself in the 11-page order (read it here). Beside Fox not being … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Even though Stephen Lang‘s Col. Miles Quaritch character seemed to have run his course in 20th Century Fox’s Avatar, director James Cameron has revealed that Lang is not only returning for the sequel, he’s going to be part of the next three films. It sounds like he’s the closest thing to a mix between Star Wars‘ Darth Vader and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator character. “Steven was so memorable in the first film, we’re privileged to have him back,” Cameron said. “I’m not going to say exactly how we’re bringing him back, but it’s a science fiction story, after all. His character will evolve into really unexpected places across the arc of our new three-film saga. I really look forward to working with such a gifted actor, who’s also become a good friend.”
Cameron has been working out brainy plot details throughout his career — how many times has the time travel concept from the original Terminator film been swiped over the years — so I’ll bet he’s come up with something thrilling. As for Lang, he’s been turning in memorable performances since going back to the Michael Mann TV series Crime Story and in character roles in films like White Irish Drinkers. Good on Lang, who’s repped by Innovative.
Related: ‘Avatar’ Sequels Upped To 3; Trio Of Writers Set To Spearhead
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It’s been two years since Disney announced its deal to add Avatar-licensed attractions to its parks, but over the weekend at D23 in Tokyo the company finally jumpstarted the countdown clock to 2017. Here’s a peek at Disney’s plans to bring James Cameron‘s Pandora to Disney World’s Animal Kingdom by 2017 complete with a bioluminescent jungle cruise, floating mountains, a new nighttime spectacular, and a flying Banshee simulator attraction:
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Score another victory for James Cameron in his slew of Avatar lawsuits. The writer-director of the 2009 blockbuster yesterday prevailed in a suit brought against him by Eric Ryder, who claimed that Cameron had used his ideas in the film. LA Superior Court Judge Susan Bryant-Deason granted Cameron’s motion for summary judgment, thereby dismissing Ryder’s suit in its entirety. The judge ruled that it was undisputed that Avatar was independently created by Cameron. “Sadly, it seems that whenever a successful motion picture is produced, there are people who try to ‘get rich quick’ by claiming their ideas were used”, Cameron said in a statement today released by Fox. “Several such claims have been asserted in connection with Avatar. I am grateful that our courts have consistently found these claims to be meritless.” In February, Cameron won a case against Gerald Morawski, who accused Cameron of ripping off his ideas for the pic. Among the lawsuits pending though is Bryant Moore’s $2.5 billion lawsuit against Cameron and Fox claiming that Avatar was stolen from his scripts. A federal judge in March granted a motion to dismiss the breach of implied contract claim in Moore’s 2011 suit but he did not dismiss Moore’s copyright claims. That trial date is pending.
They won’t be in 3-D but you can hold them in your hand in either tablet or hardcover. Fox and James Cameron said today that Jumper author Steven Charles Gould has been brought on board to pen four Avatar novels based on and expanding on the blockbuster 2009 movie and its three upcoming sequels. The sequels are expected in December 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Read the release here:
LOS ANGELES, August 22, 2013: Filmmaker James Cameron has tapped noted science fiction author Steven Charles Gould (Jumper) to write four stand-alone novels based upon – and expanding — Cameron’s history-making 2009 film Avatar, and Cameron’s stories for his three upcoming Avatar sequels.
Cameron commented, “Steven Gould is one of the shining lights in contemporary science fiction, and I’ve long admired the worlds and characters he’s created in his books and stories. We’re very fortunate to have Steven bring his formidable talents to the Avatar universe. He is already working closely with me and the screenwriters to flesh out the expanding world of Avatar.”
While Gould is best known for his 1992 novel Jumper, which Twentieth Century Fox and New Regency turned into a motion picture in 2008, he has been acclaimed for his short fiction, including his
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EXCLUSIVE: James Cameron and 20th Century Fox have upped the number of Avatar sequels they’ll make from two to three, and they’ve set three high-level screenwriters (one is a team) to get the movies in shape to be shot simultaneously. That is easily a recipe for the most expensive set of pictures ever made, and an ambitious production plan not seen since New Line and Peter Jackson made three The Lord Of The Rings films back to back. Back then, Jackson was coming off The Frighteners. Fox at least has the confidence of knowing Cameron’s last two films are the biggest-grossing pictures in movie history, with Avatar at the top by a wide margin. It’s still a gutsy play; it is not unimaginable that three Avatar installments could cost close to $1 billion. The original grossed $2.8 billion.
Cameron has set War Of The Worlds scribe Josh Friedman to write one film; Rise Of Planet Of The Apes‘ Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver to write another; with the third to be written by Shane Salerno, who wrote and directed the upcoming documentary Salinger and who previously worked with Cameron on a remake of Fantastic Voyage at Fox. The writers will collaborate with Cameron separately and co-write three separate movies with him.
The three pictures will be filmed simultaneously with production beginning next year. The release of the first sequel will be in December 2016, with the second to follow in December 2017, and the third a year later. Avatar 2, 3, and 4 will be produced by Cameron and Jon Landau through their Lightstorm Entertainment banner. Lightstorm will work once again with Joe Letteri and his team at WETA Digital on the three films.
The choice of writers came after Cameron and Landau spent weeks meeting with A-list screenwriters vying for the job. They’ve been working with Cameron from his Manhattan Beach studio. Read More »
The highest-grossing movie of all time is again the subject of a copyright legal battle. Artist William Roger Dean filed a complaint against James Cameron and 20th Century Fox on Thursday seeking more than $50 million in damages over Avatar. Unlike past Avatar plaintiffs, Dean has an established pedigree. He is a well known artist who has created album covers for such big-selling bands as Yes and Asia and exhibited his fantasy landscapes and other work around the world. In fact, it is the ubiquity of his work, as well as a movie proposal based on it that he took at the 2005 Cannes Film Fest, that has Dean convinced the look of the 2009 3D sci-fi film were derived from his images. “The similarities of each such work are substantial, continuing, and direct so as to rule out any accidental copying or similarity in scenes common to the genre. The infringing portions of Avatar are so similar to Plaintiffs Works that Defendants and others employed in the preparation of the film must have had access to the Plaintiffs Works,” says his 17-page complaint (read it here) filed June 27 in U.S District Court in New York. The filing cites numerous specific examples from the world of Pandora to the foliage and creatures that populate it where Dean sees his own work. Along with copyright infringement, Dean also is claiming contributory infringement, breach of implied contact, unfair competition and unjust enrichment.
Related: James Cameron & Fox Denied Dismissal Of Latest ‘Avatar’ Suit
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