First, let’s set the record straight. “Avatar” is coming to theaters again on August 27. Director James Cameron was forced to cede 3-D screens to “Alice in Wonderland” earlier in the year, so he wanted to give audiences a chance to catch it again. To make it worth everyone’s time, the filmmaker went in and added another nine — not eight, as the press release originally stated — minutes of footage to the movie, stuff that didn’t make the original final cut. Speaking to MTV’s Josh Horowitz last week, Cameron ran through what we can expect to see when the re-cut “Avatar” hits theaters.
Keep reading for the full details. I’ve got a scene-by-scene breakdown waiting for you after the jump, all of it straight from Cameron himself.
The Death of Tsu’tey
“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. Incorporating that footage back in was a no-brainer.
“When I [told the ’Avatar’ team] 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.”
Hunting the 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.”
“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. 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, all right, let’s go take ’em out.’ But this sort of shows that there are steps in the process.”