‘Avatar’ Re-Release To Highlight Tsu’tey Death

James Cameron says nine minutes of deleted scenes will be added when the flick returns to theaters on August 27.

Fans will learn more about Na’vi life when James Cameron’s blockbuster epic, “Avatar,” returns to the big screen on August 27.

Cameron told MTV News that moviegoers will check out nine minutes of unseen footage featuring life on Pandora. Although news of the re-release originally touted roughly eight minutes of deleted scenes, the director said he threw in an additional 60 seconds. The footage also includes an expanded version of the demise of Na’vi hunter Tsu’tey, who was killed during the climactic clash between the Pandora natives and the human army.

“There’s a pretty powerful emotional scene at the end which is Tsu’tey’s death … which happens off-camera in the original release. [In the original film] he kind of falls off the back of the shuttle and that’s the last that you see of him but here we follow through. We have this emotional scene with Jake [Sully] and Neytiri and some other Na’vi that gather around him in the forest,” Cameron said. The director added that the decision to cut down on Tsu’tey’s passing was initially met with resistance from his team.

“It’s a funny thing because everybody that was working on the film, when I said I’m taking out Tsu’tey’s death, they said, ‘What? You can’t do that!’ They had all fallen in love with it [because] it’s a pretty powerful moment,” he said. “It’s such an amazing accomplishment on [visual effects supervisor Timothy] Webber’s part because the emotionality in the CG is really quite stunning.”

Cameron said the additional “Avatar” scenes involve four major moments, each around a couple minutes long, that turn up in the movie after the human soldiers fly a chopper into the lush Pandora rainforest for the first time. The revamped flick will also introduce fans to a new element of the alien environment: a herd-like creature called a Sturmbeest.

“There’s a big scene we called the Sturmbeest hunt,” Cameron said. “The Sturmbeest is an animal that basically will be new to audiences because all of the Sturmbeest stuff got cut out. Once I took out the hunt, I took out the scene where I establish it [and] I took out the moment where it appears in the final battle. All that stuff’s now been reinstated so there’s gonna be a lot of Sturmbeest in your diet.”

Cameron lamented that many scenes were originally nixed to either keep the up pace of the flick or to avoid derailing the budget of the technologically innovative enterprise. However, the director said scenes that were added to the re-release are big on nonstop action.

“We’ve got a scene where the Na’vi attack the bulldozers after the scene where they’ve mowed down the willow glade,” Cameron said. “It’s kind of [an] action scene plus the aftermath with the human troopers finding the bodies of their friends.” He added that the scene provides added context for the subsequent conflict between the Na’vi and the humans.

“It’s sort of like the stepping stone of the escalation to war. We sort of jump over all of that in the [original] film. [Human leaders Colonel Miles Quaritch] and [Parker] Selfridge just say, ‘OK, alright, let’s go take ‘em out.’ But this sort of shows that there are steps in the process.”

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