LOS ANGELES — When James Cameron took the stage at the Los Angeles Theater on Broadway at Ubisoft’s pre-E3 briefing, big news just seemed to happen.
His upcoming film “Avatar” was deemed technologically impossible when Cameron wrote the film treatment 14 years ago. Even in the 21st century, the movie has taken four years of development for its December 18 release.
The movie will be epic. It’s a mix of live action and computer graphics technologies that were invented for this film. It’s set in the 22nd century, on a distant moon where humans have come into conflict with a native race.
Oh, and, it’s also in 3D.
Of course there’s going to be a video game for this kind of movie, right? But here’s the kicker: The game will be released before the movie and feature an entirely original plot.
“Games derived from movies, let’s face it, sometimes have kinda sucked,” Cameron told the crowd, “and I didn’t want anything associated with ‘Avatar’ to suck.”
So Cameron’s people gave Ubisoft complete access to the film’s CGI database and has been working closely with the game developer.
And it’s worked out well. Actually, Ubisoft has been able to create its own items and vehicles for the Avatar world, some of which are now being incorporated into the movie.
According to Yannis Mallat, president of Ubisoft Montreal, the game developer put together more than 100 shots that will be in the feature film.
“Our expertise has come full circle,” Mallat said. “Avatar is using groundbreaking technology, and the result is truly spectacular.”
It’s perhaps the best synergy of movie and video game in history.
“They’ve developed the game properly. It’s a fantastic game,” Cameron said.
The game will also be in full stereoscopic 3D. Cameron, who calls himself an avid video gamer, said it was the first time he’s ever been scared in a video game.
“I set out with Ubisoft to create the ideal model for how a game and a movie could be co-developed … with neither one being the red headed stepchild of the other, and I believe that we’ve done that,” he said.