Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide are teaming up with James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment, in order to bring the world of AVATAR to Disney. In an announcement made today, Disney have confirmed that they will partner with Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, Fox and Jon Landau in order to bring Avatar themed lands across the Disney brand.
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The first themed Disney park is to be built at Walt Disney World in the Animal Kingdom Park. Construction is expected to begin by 2013. The Disney Animal Kingdom park seemed the natural first choice for the Avatar themed land due to its “emphasis on living in harmony with nature, ” which essentially shares the philosophy behind the Avatar story.
"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."
The Walt Disney Company will retain exclusive global theme park rights to the Avatar themed lands, and the franchise agreement allows for additional Avatar lands at other Disney parks.
It is thought that "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, ” according to a Disney statement.
"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."
The box office record-breaker has been described as “one of the most innovative and visually stunning movies ever produced”. This is a perfect addition to the Disney brand and is part of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts’ investment efforts in its theme parks around the world.