When it comes to pioneering special effects, James Cameron is picking up where Peter Jackson left off. Twentieth Century Fox announced today that the Titanic director will return to the big screen with Avatar. The flick, which starts shooting in April for a 2009 release, is a return to Cameron's sci-fi roots, telling the story of an ex-Marine settling an exotic planet.
What's especially noteworthy is that Avatar will expand on the super-cool motion-capture techniques used by Weta Digital, the Oscar-winning visual effects team behind The Lord of the Rings, to create Gollum and other characters. According to a Fox press release, "The virtual camera system will allow Cameron to work intimately with the cast while seeing in real-time, as each scene evolves, the computer generated worlds and characters. This revolutionary approach allows Cameron to direct scenes with CG characters and environments exactly as he would on a live action set."
That's just the kind of press that might motivate me to go see a James Cameron movie again.