Love it or hate it, James Cameron has plans to inundate the world with his Avatar universe. There are two sequels to the 2009 film already in the works and scheduled to release in 2016 and 2018, with a fourth film planned for some unknown point in the future. There’s also Avatar Land, an atmospheric reproduction of the Avatar-verse coming to Disney World. Now, Cameron is taking his obsession one step further by producing an Avatar-themed Cirque de Soleil stage show.
While the original Avatar movie may not have been a tour-de-force when it came to scriptwriting or acting, one thing it had in abundance was a very atmospheric visual world. Thus, the property lends itself well to the types of shows that Cirque de Soleil puts on. We can expect the costumes and sets to be top-notch representations of Cameron’s universe and, as they always do, the Cirque de Soleil team will put on an amazing show.
Though I’m not a fan of Avatar by any means, I do believe Cameron may have found a niche that his over-rated property can fill well. Of course, it’s all part of his plan to market the next two films heavily (the show will be running through the release of Avatar 2), so I have to reserve some of my praise in lieu of Cameron’s true motives. Still, the man is a marketing pro, that’s for damn sure.
And here’s the official press release, in case you feel like reading it:
Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil and 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 expected to debut before the first of three upcoming Avatar sequels, for which Cameron is currently in pre-production. Twentieth Century Fox, which financed and distributed Avatar, will bring the new films to theaters around the world and is also a partner on the live show.
“Our relationship with Jim Cameron began with my visit at his ‘Avatar’ cutting room”, explained Daniel Lamarre. “I am thrilled that almost 5 years later, Cirque du Soleil will be able to explore the very inspirational ‘Avatar’ realm for the live stage. This will mark our second creative project with Jim and I believe it will be as stimulating for both our creative forces.”
“Over the years, I have discovered the extraordinary talents and imaginations of both the artists and the creative forces behind Cirque du Soleil,” said James Cameron. “I know we share the common goal of bringing audiences to another level of entertainment experiences. I look forward to doing just that on this project.”
“Audiences around the globe have embraced ‘Avatar’ and we believe they will want to experience this amazing world in an entirely new way,” commented Kathy Franklin, President of Franchise Development at Lightstorm Entertainment.
“‘Avatar’ remains a phenomenon that continues to inspire people around the globe, and combining it with the live event ingenuity of Cirque de Soleil is a perfect synthesis of imagination and talent,” said Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO, 20th Century Fox. “As Jim Cameron prepares to take us to even greater heights with three new ‘Avatar’ films, we’re thrilled with the innovative experience he’s developing in this groundbreaking agreement with Cirque de Soleil.”
Creative forces from Cirque du Soleil and Lightstorm Entertainment will meet and put in place a dedicated creative team, which will be announced at a later date.
What say the Nerd Readers? Anyone out there a Cirque de Soleil fan? Is an Avatar-themed show the type of performance you would shell out your money to see?