James Cameron was inspired by Peter Jackson's work on Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" movies to embark on the five-year odyssey of making "Avatar," about 10-foot-tall blue-skinned aliens called Na'vi on a jungle moon called Pandora. It says a lot about the advances in computer technology, as well as Cameron's filmmaking skill, that his convincing romantic lead didn't look human at all. Actress Zoe Saldana wore a bizarre-looking performance-capture harness on her entire body to feed her actions into a computer, which generated her blue-skinned alter ego. The results were real enough to bring audiences back to the theaters over and over again, to the tune of more than $2 billion in grosses worldwide.
Twentieth Century Fox
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