We already knew James Cameron had Avatar on the brain, but this is getting ridiculous. The director of Titanic and Aliens is spending pretty much a decade focused on the Na’vi homeworld of Pandora. The original Avatar came out in 2009, and Cameron is currently working on three follow-ups, which will shoot back to back for release in 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively. But now the world of Avatar will be popping up someplace we didn’t expect it: on stage, in a live show from Cirque du Soleil.
Cameron is partnering with Cirque du Soleil, Twentieth Century Fox, and Lightstorm Entertainment to develop a live show based on the first Avatar film. The show is looking to debut and begin touring late in 2015, a year before the first of the three Avatar sequels will hit theaters. Cameron made the announcement yesterday at the C2MTL-Commerce and Creativity Conference in Montreal.
It wouldn’t actually be the first time Cameron has worked with the Cirque du Soleil folks. He produced a 3D documentary about the troupe in 2012 called Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away. In a released statement, Cameron said:
Over the years, I have discovered the extraordinary talents and imaginations of both the artists and the creative forces behind Cirque du Soleil. I know we share the common goal of bringing audiences to another level of entertainment experiences. I look forward to doing just that on this project.
The Avatar production will be the first time Cirque du Soleil has done a show based on a movie, but Cameron’s space epic is as good a source as any. The lush visuals were by far Avatar’s strongest point, so the world of Pandora provides plenty of colorful material to draw from. And hell, the movie’s underwhelming storyline might work better in the stripped-down form of a performance piece. Just looking at some of these shots from Avatar, it’s not hard to imagine Cirque du Soleil producing something stunning from them.