First Avatar Footage Shown: Details & Early Buzz

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 7:46 am,

avatar james cameron First Avatar Footage Shown: Details & Early Buzz

Avatar is a film that we’ve covered a lot around here at Screen Rant, not only because it is hyped up to be one of the most visually amazing movies of the decade (and we like to keep an eye on that sort of thing to see if it’s true), but also because it heralds the return of director James Cameron, who hasn’t directed a feature film since 1997’s Titanic.

With technology finally catching up to an idea Cameron has had for fifteen years, soon we’ll get to see his Avatar vision come to full, 3D CGI life. And today Screen Rant has the first real details on Avatar, as well as some early critical buzz that we’ve all been eager for!

The first footage of Avatar was shown to over 1,000 industry folks at the Cinema Expo in Amsterdam (“If you get stopped by a cop in Amsterdam, it’s illegal”— Oh wait, that’s a different movie…). The footage was comprised of various different scenes from the movie assembled into a length of about 24 minutes. Sadly the footage isn’t available quite yet to the online public, but we have the next best thing: written details about what went down.

So is all the hype for Cameron’s latest blockbuster warranted? Well, according to those who were lucky enough to attend the Expo and witness the first ever publicly shown footage, absolutely it does. Before we get to what people have said about the first Avatar footage, here is what happened before it was shown to the audience (thanks to IESB and THR):

[Warning: Moderate SPOILERS]


James Cameron and stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver were actually at the Expo in person to talk about Avatar before the footage was screened. Weaver started things off by saying that her character is called Dr. Grace Augustine, who dreams of living peacefully side-by-side with the Na’Vi (the 10 feet tall blue creatures shown on page 2). She revealed that her character is the one who created the titular Avatars (which are Na’Vi’ replicas), which allow humans to live on Pandora (the “other world” where the movie takes place).

Lang then went on after Weaver to talk about his character in Avatar, Colonel Quaritch, who is described as a, “shoot first, ask questions later type of guy.” Apparently, Lang was in character as he talked to the audience at the Expo, describing Weaver’s Dr. Augustine as, “nothing but a tree hugger,” and has a general want of killing the Na’Vi because apparently that’s the only way to deal with them – “They may be stronger physically, but we have more powerful weapons,” he said.

IESB user “Anonymous” reported that Worthington was, “barely audible,” because of bad jet-lag, but did say that his character, Jake Skully, is a crippled ex-marine who’s given a chance, by Dr. Augustine, to walk again through use of an Avatar. Saldana revealed that she plays one of the Na’Vi called Neytiri, and that it took months to prepare for her role, for which she had to to “learn to fight like a Na’Vi.” They fight? Without knowing much of how they function and how they act in the movie, it’s quite hard to picture them doing such things as fighting at this point. But I’m definitely liking the sound of it.

[End of spoilers]


After that, the audiences were pleasantly surprised when Mr. James Cameron walked on-stage, wearing a pair of 3D glasses and remarked – “The future’s so bright I gotta’ wear shades.” He said that when it finally came to the point to actually make the movie once the technology had become available (which was four years ago), he and his team basically spent 18 months just thinking about how they were going to make it. Cameron said that the assemblage of footage shown was from the first third of the movie, but there were also some shots of the unfinished footage in there from the later battle scenes. He noted that in the later stages of the movie, the action becomes virtually non-stop.

Now onto the early buzz:

Continued on Page 2…

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  1. a ten second teaser would have been nice but oh well. still sounds phat and starting to sound like ILM and transformers with the computer usage.

  2. Those pics look amazing, and I agree a teaser trailer would be nice.

  3. Now this is something much more worthy to see than Transformers. I hated how a lot of people said that one was gonna be the biggest film of the year, while I strictly told myself Avatar would wear that crown. Every bit of information has raised my excitement over this film, and now I just can’t wait to see a trailer. Doesn’t matter if it’s just a teaser. Although I do read somewhere that speculation about some US official footage at the Comic-Con later next month is going.

  4. Since Star Trek has come and nearly gone, this is my most anticipated movie of the year. I made that first image of the planet and moon my desktop.

  5. This movie will change everything. I’m stoked he said that the latter part of the movie is filled with nonstop action. Most anticipated movie of the decade….

  6. I’ve said it all along..this will be huge..Depends on how stunning the visuals are and the story of course but it could be TDK big in terms of box office dollars..

    I’m with Kahless, this is now my most anticipated movie now!!

  7. What the heck, I go 2 days without internet because I just moved and I miss the first images of Avatar, come on. But whatever, I saw them now, and read what people have said from the footage, and wow, I really can’t wait, December is going to be a good month, definitely seeing it in 3D.

    Hm, 3D movie that doesn’t turn it into a gimmick by sticking things in your face? What?? I thought according to some people making a movie 3D that becomes automatic despite the director’s intentions… haha

  8. “He noted that in the later stages of the movie, the action becomes virtually non-stop.”

    Have anyone seen that music video made by SNL, “I j***ed in my pants?” Now imagine me spazzing out like that randomly at work after reading this article, lol.

  9. All this avatar stuff and we have only 9 comments? Get with it people!

    Can someone explain something to me? If this is designed for the theaters in 3d with the glasses and what not, what happens when we watch this on DVD? How will the effects translate to tv?

  10. It will show in theaters in non 3D as well. The movie will be the same, just without the added 3D to immerse you. You’ll still get to enjoy the scenery, story, and acting.

  11. But then again, with these new 120Hz tv’s, 3D at home will be very possible.

  12. yup, thats what we got a couple of months ago, 64 inch samsung lcd with 120 hz refresh rate. It’s almost eerie when your watching something in HD and it looks like reality TV or your on the set of the show/Movie. You do get used to it but its very weird at first. I hope avatar will translate nicely to the home theater.

  13. I find movies to look more like movies in lower refresh rates, like standard refresh rates, I would only use the 120Hz on documentaries like the Planet Earth blu rays. The high refresh makes everything look like documentaries…

  14. Yea, this is def the movie to see for 2009! I work in Europe but in the poor Eastern BLock so no 3D theatres for hundreds of miles. Can’t wait to go back home for New Years I’ll see it at the IMAX in Orlando. 120Hz TV’s? Samsung has a 240Hz TV on the market now. But they’re not cheap! They have LED and Plasma. Wait, I know what your thinking, Plasma was not as good as LCD. But Samsung has reinvented the plasma TV and they’re awesome!

  15. Well, actually in terms of picture quality, plasma has always been very good. In fact, good plasma’s still have superior contrast ratios to those of their LCD counterparts. The main difference that made LCD more desireable is the operational life span. Plasma has a set lifespan, meaning the screen will actually burn itself out after so and so many hours, LCD doesn’t have a set lifespan, I mean, they will eventually stop working too, but they’ll probably outlast plasma in the long run.

    The new thing coming out is LED tv’s. The first ones I’ve seen advertised, like the one from Samsung, isn’t really truly a LED screen. It’s still LCD but the backlighting is LED, which last longer and is more evenly distributed than current LCD’s since current ones use a fluorescent light below and/or above the screen reflected outwards through the screen via mirrors. The LED ones use LEDS directly behind the screen to illiminate it, so it’s brighter, more even, and lasts longer, but costs more.

    But they are developing actual LED screens, where every pixel will be an LED, not a back-lit LCD. That will have the best picture, life, and refresh rate. But I think they will be super expensive when they hit the consumer market.

    Good thing is though, when new tech comes out, old tech gets cheaper, so watch for the price of LCD’s and plasmas to drop when the LED tv’s come out. :-)

    I’ve been doing a little reading about this stuff, but not really that extensively, so if I’m dead wrong about anything, please point it out, I would like to know actually, interested in this stuff, lol.