James Cameron’s “Avatar” is really picking up steam, and if all goes well, will show up at your local multiplexes in 2009 with enough cutting edge CGI filmmaking to revolutionize the industry for years to come. Or, it could just be a really cool science fiction movie, and I’ll be happy. Speaking of which, “Avatar” picks up a pair of actors, Michelle Rodriguez and Stephen Lang. They join a cast that already includes Australian actor Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Wes Studi and CCH Pounder.
Stephen Lang has a history with Cameron, having been up for a role in the director’s 1986 hit “Aliens” (which he didn’t get). Now, he’ll play a seasoned Marine Corps colonel who travels to the faraway planet Pandora to take charge of its troops. According to Variety, Lang is known for his New York theater roles in “A Few Good Men,” “Defiance” and “Death of a Salesman.” He’ll wrap up 101 performances at the Roundabout Theater in his sold-out one-man show “Beyond Glory” on Aug. 19 and then take on the “Avatar” role.
Tough chick Michelle Rodriguez plays an ex-Marine (what else?) pilot.
“Michelle Rodriguez is someone I’ve wanted to work with since I saw ‘Girlfight’ seven years ago,” said Cameron. Film is a $190 million hybrid of live action and animation. Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment team has researched a mix of live-action cinematography and virtual photorealistic production techniques which will feature virtual characters. Thirty-one days of live-action photography will begin on Weta soundstages in October.
“Avatar,” which will be filmed in a new digital 3-D format, is skedded to debut on May 22, 2009.