Avatar Being Brought To Life At Disney World's Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide is partnering with filmmaker James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the world of Avatar to life at Disney parks. Through an exclusive agreement announced today by Disney, Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox, Disney will partner with Cameron and producing partner Jon Landau to create themed lands that will give theme park guests the opportunity to explore the mysterious universe of Avatar.
Construction is expected to begin by 2013, with plans to build the first Avatar themed land within the Animal Kingdom park. Animal Kingdom is a natural fit for the Avatar stories, as they both share a heavy emphasis on living in harmony with nature.
"James Cameron is a groundbreaking filmmaker and gifted storyteller who shares our passion for creativity, technological innovation and delivering the best experience possible," said Robert A. Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. "With this agreement, we have the extraordinary opportunity to combine James' talent and vision with the imagination and expertise of Disney."
"Avatar created a world which audiences can discover again and again and now, through this incredible partnership with Disney, we'll be able to bring Pandora to life like never before. With two new Avatar films currently in development, we'll have even more locations, characters and stories to explore," said James Cameron. "I'm chomping at the bit to start work with Disney's legendary Imagineers to bring our Avatar universe to life. Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of Avatar with an unprecedented sense of reality."
With the agreement, The Walt Disney Company now has exclusive global theme park rights to the Avatar franchise and provides additional Avatar themed lands at the other Disney Parks, to be determined by Disney and its international theme park partners. James Cameron, Jon Landau and their Lightstorm Entertainment group will serve as creative consultants on the projects and will partner with Walt Disney Imagineering in the design and development of the Avatar themed lands.
"This exciting new venture combines the world of Avatar with the enormous reach of Disney and the incomparable talent of Jim Cameron," commented Fox Filmed Entertainment chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman. "While Jim is bringing audiences further into Pandora with the next two chapters in the Avatar motion picture saga, the theme park attraction will likewise bring a new dimension to the amazing universe he created."
"Avatar is a uniquely powerful franchise that has global appeal with audiences of all ages. Its spectacular settings, intriguing characters, imaginative creatures, and strong themes of family and loyalty make it a perfect fit for Disney," said Thomas O. Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "We can't wait to give our guests the ability to journey to Pandora and explore the incredible immersive world of Avatar in person."
This is a great move for both Disney Fox Filmed Entertainment. Avatar will be the perfect compliment to Disney's Animal Kingdom which focuses heavily on living in harmony with nature and preserving the planet, the primary premise of Avatar. By having Avatar in Disney, Fox Filmed Entertainment is assuring the franchise will remain relevant for years to come. For Disney, they are adding a theme from a movie that set a global box office record, revolutionized 3D film-making, and simultaneously investing in its core theme park businesses, while expanding into other parts of the family vacation business.