James Cameron has announced that he’s in the business of making Avatar sequels, and has no plans to work on any unrelated projects in the foreseeable future. As such, the Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D movie (produced by Cameron) will be the rare forthcoming film to bear his name –  in some creative capacity – and not take place in a world populated by giant blue aliens.

Worlds Away was written and directed by Andrew Adamson (Shrek, Chronicles of Narnia). It incorporates elements from the Cirque du Soleil performances into a fictional narrative, about a young woman (Erica Linz) who enters the fantastical realm populated by characters and creatures featured in the company’s Las Vegas shows. As the trailer illustrates: the final result is some of the coolest theater performance footage ever recorded (in 3D, no less).

Cirque du Soleil live performances are considered the epitome of “contemporary circus”; the shows draw inspiration from circus styles around the world, usually weaving a (very) loosely-structured storyline in the process. In other words: the narrative for Worlds Away is mostly meant an an excuse to stage a variety of Cirque du Soleil set pieces and routines, which were captured using Cameron’s Fusion 3D camera system (as you probably picked up just by watching the trailer).

Obviously, there are certain aspects of a live Cirque du Soleil show that Worlds Away cannot recreate, for logistical reasons. Not to mention: the 3D effect should be more observational and unobtrusive – as opposed to, putting viewers literally in the middle of the performance (or from a Cirque du Soleil performer’s POV, a la Amazing Spider-Man).

The mystical realm of 'Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away'

That said: Cameron’s Fusion 3D system is great for expansive and immersive visuals, which Worlds Away should offer in loads. Similarly, it’s impossible to not admire the athleticism of Cirque du Soleil performers – and marvel at how often they’re but a single misstep away from greatly injuring themselves (obviously, you won’t have to worry about that happening in the movie).

Anyone who’s ever wanted to see a Cirque du Soleil live stage performance, but never been able to for whatever reason (too expensive, no nearby location): this is the way to go.

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away begins its U.S. theatrical release on December 21st, 2012.

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers