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'Avatar' to come back as spectacle and movie sequels


09-23-2016 02:47 BJT

Remember Avatar? That groundbreaking film by James Cameron? Well, just because there hasn't been a sequel in 7 years doesn't mean that it's gone away. That's the message from producer Jon Landau. He and writer-director James Cameron are preparing to begin production on four sequels starting next year. They're also promoting an Avatar-themed Cirque du Soleil show, which is kind of a prequel to the movie.

The show is inspired by the mythology of Pandora and those tall blue aliens called the Na'vi.

"People have a misconception that because of the length of time since the Avatar release, that people have forgotten about Avatar. If you look anecdotally at Facebook, we have gained – since two years after the release of the movie – we have gained close to 30 million fans on Facebook," said producer Jon Landau.

The traveling Cirque du Soleil show called "Turok" -- named after the flying creatures in the film -- has been touring North America since last year. It recently went through New York and is now headed to Southern California.

It's set on Pandora 3,000 years before the first movie -- so as not to interfere with any storylines or characters in the sequels. But there are elements from "Turok" that will be continued into movie theatres. Cameron gave Cirque creators certain guidelines on how to interpret his worlds, but otherwise left them free to create.

"Cirque had the freedom to create a story that would become part of the lexicon of Avatar that we can then also utilize. So some of the ideas of who the first 'Toruk' is, some of the clans and that are introduced in the show, you will be seeing popping up in some of the sequels, in the novelizations, in the Dark Horse comics, et cetera, et cetera," said producer Jon Landau.

The show also utilizes more technology than in many Cirque shows to immerse the audience in Pandora.

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