The blue-skinned Na’vi creatures of the 2009 movie “Avatar” will get the Cirque du Soleil treatment in a new live production that is being developed by James Cameron and the Montreal company. The arena show is expected to open in late 2015, before the first of three upcoming “Avatar” sequels hits the big screen.
Cirque announced the “Avatar” show on Thursday at a trade conference in Montreal. “Our relationship with Jim Cameron began with my visit at his ‘Avatar’ cutting room,” said Daniel Lamarre, president and chief executive of Cirque.
The new production will feature a collaboration between Cirque and Lightstorm Entertainment, which is Cameron’s production company. 20th Century Fox, the studio behind “Avatar” and its sequels, is also a partner on the live show.
Cirque said it will tour the “Avatar” show globally. No further details, including who will direct it, have been announced.
The movie “Avatar” grossed more than $2.78 billion worldwide and won three Academy Awards. Starring Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana, the sci-fi adventure featured groundbreaking visual effects -- including motion-capture technology -- as well as digital 3-D photography. Cameron is working on three sequels to the movie, the first of which is expected to be released in 2016.
Cirque has collaborated with Cameron before, on the 2012 movie “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away,” a 3-D feature that included acts from some of Cirque’s most popular live productions.
In a prepared statement, Cameron said that “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.”
“Avatar” will mark the first time that Cirque has created a show based on a movie.