'Avatar' Arena Show Planned by James Cameron, Cirque du Soleil

Image: 'Avatar' Arena Show Planned by James Cameron, Cirque du Soleil  File photo from 2013, a bust in 3D by Legacy Effect of a character from the film Avatar is displayed in the ' 3 D Print Show' exhibition in Paris.

Friday, 30 May 2014 01:06 PM

By Ken Mandel

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Director James Cameron and Cirque du Soleil are combining to bring the "Avatar" universe live to stages around the world in late 2015.

The "Titanic" filmmaker and Cirque CEO Daniel Lamarra jointly announced the project on Thursday in Montrea at the C2MTL Commerce and Creativity Conference.

The show is expected to embark on a worldwide tour world ahead of the sequel to Cameron's growing Avatar franchise. That film, the first of three planned installments for the 2009 blockbuster, is tentatively scheduled to open in December 2016, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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"Over the years, I have discovered the extraordinary talents and imaginations of both the artists and the creative forces behind Cirque du Soleil," Cameron said in a statement, according to Variety. "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."

"Our relationship with Jim Cameron began with my visit at his 'Avatar' cutting room," said 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."

The 2009 film, which starred Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldona as computer-generated versions of themselves, grossed $2.7 billion worldwide, and is the highest grossing film of all time. Last month, Cameron wrote in a Reddit Ask Me Anything that the scripts for the three planned films will be finished within six weeks.

"The second, third and fourth films all go into production simultaneously," Cameron wrote. "They're essentially all in preproduction now, because we are designing creatures, settings and characters that span all three films."

Cirque du Soleil and Cameron have previously worked together. Cameron was one of the producers of the 3D documentary "Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away," released in 2012.

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