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Cameron, Shyamalan Both Helming "Avatar"

This week Variety reports on two projects both duking it out for the same title: "Avatar." One is a potential franchise kickstarter for Paramount and Nick Movies, with spookmeister M. Night Shyamalan at the helm, and the other is a science-fiction war drama, eleven years in the making from James Cameron.

As reported by Variety, the Shyamalan effort is to be the first of three films to be based on the successful quasi-Anime Nicktoon of the same name, created by Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. "Avatar" the series began airing on Nickelodeon in September 2005, and has been a big hit among the pop-tarts-for-breakfast crowd. Shyamalan's last effort, "The Lady in the Water"--an attempt at a new kind of children's fable--drowned in the 2006 summer box office.

By comparison, Cameron's last theatrical release, "Titanic," sank only onscreen, just like it was supposed to--it remains the all-time box office champ. Again, according to Variety, his "Avatar" sounds, from the one vague line of description, something like a space opera retelling of James Clavell's "Shogun". It will hit theaters in 2009.

A representative from Fox seems to think his company owns the rights to the title, and that "there won't be another film called 'Avatar' coming from anyplace." Right. Tell it to Paul "Crash" Haggis and David "Crash" Cronenberg. Next thing you know, people will be fighting over who gets to make the next film about Truman Capote.

Posted by on January 9, 2007 2:23 PM
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Hey - it's not just popular with the kid-crowd. Avatar: the Last Airbender, is a show with a lot more going for it than a lot of "adult" oriented shows. It features an actual story, with characters that change, grow and learn, AND has a very cool setting to boot.

Oh, and I'm 41.

-- Posted by: Gategrrl at January 10, 2007 9:15 PM

Thanks for your comments, Gategrrl. Trust me, I'm (still) a big fan of Joss Whedon's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," so I know what you mean. Meanwhile, the reportage in the Variety article on Shyamalan's "Avatar" is worded exactly like this: "Aimed at 6- to 11-year-olds, show has nabbed strong ratings, including outside its intended demo. It is among the top 10 animated series on all of TV among kids 6-11 and tweens 9-14."

-- Posted by: Gilbert at January 11, 2007 10:29 AM

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