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Harry Potter better watch out, as there’s another movie coming to the middle of Florida before too long. Walt Disney World and James Cameron are teaming up to bring the world of Avatar to the theme park resort.
Details are kind of limited right now, as the initial announcement was more of just the Disney-folks and the Avatar-people getting together to shake hands and exchange signatures. We do know that the new attractions and rides are coming to a new section of the Animal Kingdom theme park, and that the blue people will be invading the park towards the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016.
A new museum exhibition opening next year will bring the magic of Pandora to Seattle. Avatar: The Exhibition, which features artifacts, props and costumes from the blockbuster movie, will debut at Seattle's Science Fiction Museum on June 4, 2011 and will run through September 3, 2012.
According to Avatar director James Cameron, "Fans will be able to see in-person the workmanship behind the film, whether it's how scenes are captured; or how a Na'vi costume was built first as a real world garment then produced digitally."
Avatar's influence seems to have no bounds. According to Variety, a "spectacular mountain peak in China's Hunan province", that is thought to be the inspiration for the floating Hallelujah Mountains in the film, has been renamed the "Avatar Hallelujah Mountain" in an attempt to lure tourists to the destination.
The peak that is causing Avatar-mania across the country is one of hundreds of quartz sandstone pillars at the southern end of the Yuanjiajie. The locale does seem like something out of another world, with sheer cliffs covered in foliage not unlike the scenery in Avatar (which also happens to be the first movie to earn more than $100 million in China).
As those of you who rushed to see Avatar this weekend know, the movie is hard to summarize in a few sentences. According to IMDb, James Cameron's epic tale is about Jake, a paraplegic war veteran of the future, who is brought to another planet, Pandora, which is inhabited by the Na'vi, a humanoid race with their own language and culture; then those from Earth find themselves at odds with each other and the local culture. What the summary doesn't tell you is that the 3D movie looks really cool thanks to new CGI techniques developed just for Avatar.
But even though the movie is a technological showpiece, there was still some old school location filming that took place in New Zealand and Hawaii. First, Cameron, who has always been an unconventional filmmaker, brought the movie's stars, Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana, to Hawaii where he dressed them up like aborigines and had them running around half-naked while acting out their scenes before actually filming in front of a green screen in the studio. The technique was suppose to give them all a taste of how the scenes would feel if they were being shot in a real rain forest.