‘Avatar’ Will Live Up To The Hype, James Cameron Insists

Director is so confident in December release that he wants movie fans to see 15 minutes of film in IMAX theaters next month.

James Cameron’s “Avatar” is the product of more than a decade of planning, the last four years of which were consumed by actual production work. It is a sci-fi adventure shot entirely in a reinvention of digital 3-D, which is built around a series of newly developed processes. Those who have seen it have walked away stunned.

Speaking with MTV News at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday, the filmmaker said, “If you’re there [when the movie opens in December], then you liked what you saw.” Cameron’s plan is to expose “Avatar” to as many people as possible before it opens December 18.

After all, a film as technologically demanding as [movie id="301495"]“Avatar”[/movie] requires special planning. The filmmaker’s hope is that, by the time the lights dim for moviegoers at the end of the year, they will have “already answered the question ‘Can [Cameron and his crew] do the kind of emotional reality that’s been missing from CG?’ ”

The next phase in the rollout plan calls for [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/07/24/james-cameron-wants-you-to-enjoy-free-avatar-in-august/"]an open screening of footage[/url] to any interested parties. “Today, here, we’re going to announce that we’re going to do a day in August — I think it’s August 21 — where we’re gonna let people come to any IMAX 3-D theater in the world and see 15 minutes of the movie,” Cameron said. It won’t cost anything, though with a planned one-hour window for the screenings, you can probably expect some long lines.

If the footage is indeed as jaw-dropping as early reports indicate, the wait will be worth it. “I think all of those questions about ‘Can they do it?’ ‘Will it live up?’ all that, that’s gonna be set by the wayside,” Cameron said.

He better be right, because there won’t be any snack bribes awaiting audiences who attend the 15-minute screenings. “You gotta buy your own popcorn,” Cameron laughed.

MTV News is on the scene with live coverage of the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con all weekend long. Visit MTVNews.com, Splash Page, the MTV Movies Blog and Hollywood Crush for videos, interviews and the latest news on “New Moon,” “Iron Man 2″ and everything in between.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Avatar.”