Avatar Land ground

After years of rumor, conjecture and controversy, January 10, 2014 marks the day Disney finally broke ground on the brand-new Avatar Land. It’ll be a full day- and nighttime area of Animal Kingdom in Orlando, FL co-designed and imagined by James Cameron himself. The aim is to have the area open in 2017, which would be between the planned release dates of Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 in December 2016 and 2017.

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Avatar drew a lot of story comparisons to Dances With Wolves and Pocahontas when it first came out, but James Cameron thinks the sequels will put a different cinematic classic in mind. At a recent press conference, he said that while the first Avatar was “very Jake-centric,” Avatars 2 through 3 would be more like a Godfather-esque saga centered on Jake’s family.

Hit the jump for his comments, plus updates on the films’ shooting location and release date.

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Stephen Lang Avatar

James Cameron is performing another resurrection with his sequels to the biggest movie of all time, Avatar. After already revealing Sigourney Weaver’s character, who died in the first film, would be returning, it now seems a second deceased character will return in Avatar 2. Colonel Miles Quaritch, played by Stephen Lang, will return not only for Avatar 2, but Avatar 3 and 4 as well.

“I’m not going to say exactly HOW we’re bringing him back, but it’s a science fiction story, after all,” Cameron told Deadline. “His character will evolve into really unexpected places across the arc of our new three-film saga.”

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'Avatar Land' at DisneyWorld's Animal Kingdom

Update: Disney has revealed a 2017 projected opening date for the land. All three Avatar sequels are scheduled to begin shooting next year simultaneously, and the announced release date for Avatar 2 is currently December 2016. So it looks like the new land will be ready to promote the third and fourth films, and possibly the home video release of the sequel.

Update #2: A video is now available featuring James Cameron, who describes the creation of Avatar Land. Watch it at the bottom of the post below.

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james-cameron-avatar-sam1

James Cameron is sending mixed messages today. First up, the award-winning filmmakers says he fully expects all future entertainment to be in 3D. Then, a few hours later, he reveals he’s hired noted sci-fi writer Steven Charles Gould to write four standalone Avatar novels that’ll expand on the stories Cameron will tell in his three sequels, currently scheduled for 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Last time I checked, novels were a form of entertainment and can’t be turned into 3D. We’ll explore both pieces of news below. Read More »

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We haven’t heard much about the Disney’s plans for Avatar-Land since the company first announced their plan to bring Pandora to the Magic Kingdom back in September 2011. And it doesn’t seem like they will be revealing anything new during D23 Expo this weekend, but Disney Imagineering did offer a little tease in their pavilion on the show floor. The tease is in the form of an exhibit of all the souvenirs they brought back from their “research trip to Pandora”. Check out the photos after the jump.

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Star Wars Avatar

UPDATE: We’ve been contacted by Disney Imagineering and told the quotes we originally reported, though from an official Disney website, were incorrect. Frank Reifsnyder, Communications & Media Relations Manager for Walt Disney Imagineering said, “There will be teases to Star Wars and to Avatar but nothing about any attractions or experiences based on those properties. Nor are we releasing any new information on those at the D23 Expo.” Basically, there will be teases, just not to anything specific or imminent.

Also, we’ve made a small change about which Marvel characters are appearing where at the event. Besides that, the original article follows.

The Walt Disney Company has officially acknowledged they’re working on new park attractions featuring Star Wars and Avatar. After months and months of speculation in regard to Star Wars (and uncertainty in regards to Avatar), a new blog from Disney Insider confirms the Walt Disney Imagineering exhibit at the D23 Expo in August will feature teases of attractions based on both franchises. Read More »

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida (and soon Hollywood, CA) has upped the ante for what a movie themed theme park can be and they’re not stopping there. According to reports, actors from the Harry Potter franchise have been asked to reprise their roles from the films to shoot new footage for the currently under construction Wizarding World expansion in Florida.

Not to be outdone, Walt Disney World has begun work on Avatar Land, based on the James Cameron film. Not only did some blueprints leak in the last few weeks, now an image has surfaced showing the filmmaker working with Disney Imagineers. Check out info on both these theme part bits below. Read More »

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