Tuesday, September 20, 2011
It was just announced today officially by Bob Iger and Tom Staggs and it is like a thunder lightning: Disney and James Cameron made a deal to bring the world of Avatar to Disney's Animal Kingdom, with works beginning in 2013!
Nobody saw this coming and for once the secret was well kept. That is one of the best move Disney ever did and for sure the best counter-attack to IOA Harry Potter's land, specially considering that there is two more Avatar movies to come and i wouldn't be surprised if WDI Imagineers will use the different episodes of the trilogy to create the various theme lands of this Avatar land. Animal Kingdom is definitely the perfect choice for an Avatar Land and its environmental message and i can't wait to see renderings and to know which kind of attraction will be put in this new land!
Here is more from the Disney Parks blog:
"At a press conference happening right now at Walt Disney Imagineering, Bob Iger and Tom Staggs just announced a long-term creative partnership with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the fantasy world of AVATAR to life at Disney Parks. And it’ll all begin at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.
James and his producing partner Jon Landau and their team at Lightstorm Entertainment will serve as creative consultants on the project and will work side-by-side with our Walt Disney Imagineers as we dream up experiences that will take our guests deep into worlds of AVATAR like never before. There are also two sequels to the record setting first film in the works, which will offer more fascinating stories, characters and locations to explore in the AVATAR universe. Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort is planned as the site of the first AVATAR-themed land with construction expected to begin by 2013.
We believe Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a great fit for this project because it was created to give guests the opportunity to experience the worlds of animals and nature – real and mythical – in new ways. Disney’s Animal Kingdom also celebrates adventure, living in harmony with nature and environmental stewardship – themes that are deeply rooted in the story of AVATAR."
Also, from the L.A Times, James Cameron statement: "I'm chomping at the bit to start work with Disney's legendary Imagineers to bring our AVATAR universe to life," Cameron said in a statement announcing the deal Tuesday morning. "Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of AVATAR with an unprecedented sense of reality."
Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairman Jim Gianopulos, whose movie studio financed, marketed and distributed "Avatar," said Disney was a natural choice as a licensing partner because of its global reach and stature. He said the world Cameron envisioned, starting with Pandora and stretching out to include other creatures and settings, is a natural fit for a theme-park experience.
"It lends itself very well, not only to subsequent films, but to be imagined and realized in the parks," Gianopulos said. "Yes, it's creative content. But what it really is is an immersive world. And that's what Disney intends to create."
More from the NY Times: "Construction on “Avatar”-themed rides, shops and restaurants will begin in 2013 –- the planning phase has just started -– and the land will open to visitors three or four years after that. Fox and James Cameron, the director of “Avatar,” will receive a licensing fee and a percentage of related merchandise and food and beverage sales.
Mr. Cameron, who is working on two “Avatar” sequels, will collaborate with Disney engineers to design the themed land. Disney’s parks overseas – particularly one under construction in Shanghai – are likely to see “Avatar” themed areas down the road. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday morning, Mr. Cameron said he envisioned the use of animatronic robots and cutting-edge video effects.
“Whatever makes sense to bring this world to life and allow people to wander in it,” he said. “The scenes from the movie that people liked best were not the obvious things like the big battle scenes. It was the creatures. It was learning to fly. It was being in the forest at night.”
I'd like to add that the NY Times is probably right when that say that "Disney’s parks overseas are likely to see “Avatar” themed areas down the road". It will probably be the case for Shanghaî Disneyland but i wouldn't be surprised too if an Avatar attraction was coming too at the Walt Disney Studios...
Jeez, that was a really big news, wasn't it? Also, have a look at Inside the Magic where you'll see some renderings from a Disney patent that could be used for this Avatar land project.
Picture: copyright 20th Century Fox and Disney