In James Cameron’s Avatar, a group of natives fight back against an evil corporation that’s willing to destroy their civilization in order to acquire a valuable commodity. In reality, capitalism isn’t personified by a two-dimensional villain and without any sense of irony, 20th Century Fox is asking fans to open their wallets again and again and again.

I’m kidding of course. Amusing parallels aside, Cameron and Co. are only delivering what fans have been begging for – a deeper glimpse into the inner workings of Pandora.

As THR reports, between this Friday’s theatrical re-release and an upcoming 2-Disc DVD and Blu-ray set, the filmmakers are keeping their fingers crossed that you really can’t have too much of a good thing.

Unlike Avatar’s initial release, audiences will only be able to experience the special edition of the film in 3D. The expanded cut clocks in at 171 minutes and Fox domestic distribution chief, Bruce Snyder, says fans can look forward to seeing something brand new roughly every fifteen minutes.

Avatar’s worldwide gross reached $2.74 billion and Cameron insists that had it not been for other 3D releases commandeering theater space, the film would have continued to thrive at the box office. In addition to the obvious financial benefits, the innovative filmmaker reveals the other motivating factors behind Avatar’s re-release:

“Audiences repeatedly told me they wanted more of Pandora, and wished they could have stayed there longer. So we’re making that possible. AVATAR: SPECIAL EDITION will be exclusively in 3D, and will have eight minutes of never before seen footage, including new creatures and action scenes. Whether you already love the movie, or you’ve never seen it, with this Special Edition, you’ll be seeing it like never before.”

Producer Jon Landau elaborates:

“We tried to look at what people have responded to in the film and give them more of that… There’s a whole new scene that takes place in the (Na’vi) school, there’s more night bioluminescence, there’s new creatures, and there is a new action scene. The scenes don’t just feel like added scenes — they are very organic to the story and embellish it.”

Our friends at Collider were able to get their hands on two new images from Avatar’s re-release. You can check them out below:

If eight and a half minutes of new footage still isn’t enough, even the most ravenous of Avatar fans should be satisfied with the sixteen minutes of new footage that will debut on the DVD and Blu-ray release this November. For those anxious to experience the film’s groundbreaking 3D effects at home, you’ll have to wait until sometime next year for yet another DVD/Blu-ray release.

Ordinarily I loathe when studios force you to double dip on popular films, but in the case of Avatar they never disguised the fact that a special edition would follow April’s bare bones release. So when I start adding up how much money I’ve spent on this film, I’ll be sure to remember that I only have myself to blame.

Avatar certainly has its critics- any pop-culture juggernaut inevitably will. I know a lot of people wish the story had been as revolutionary as the special effects and I’ll admit that I’m one of them. However, what invites repeat viewings of the film for me is the level of detail Cameron painstakingly implemented into every aspect of the mythology.

I love that the production design is vintage Cameron and that all of the military tech could stand side-by-side with anything from Aliens. Though the choice to tell the story in broad strokes initially bothered me, I’ve since learned to find something charming about its simplicity.

Regardless, I still roll my eyes every time I see Quaritch pull that huge knife out of his AMP suit.

Will you be rushing back to theaters this Friday to experience Avatar in 3D again or are you content to wait until November’s DVD/Blu-ray release?

Avatar: Special Edition opens in theaters this Friday – and release on DVD and Blu-ray this November.

Source: THR, Collider.