You can chalk this one up to “news you probably never thought you’d read in a million years,” but it seems to be true nevertheless. In a report in Variety, it was revealed today that director/producer/deep sea explorer James Cameron is teaming up with Cirque du Soleil for a live show based on his 2009 mega hit movie Avatar.
Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil announced the details of the show, which is currently set to debut in late 2015, and had this to say: “Our relationship with Jim Cameron began with my visit at his Avatar cutting room; I am thrilled that almost 5 years later, Cirque du Soleil will be able to explore the very inspirational Avatar realm for the live stage. ” Good thing so many of the Cirque du Soleil performers are already used to body paint and what-not, because they’re gonna be washing a lot of blue out of some tight spots, I’d imagine.
Imagine this, just more blue.
No other details are known, but the Avatar themed-show is set to debut a year before we see the first of three sequels to the movie, in what is going to be a whole new trilogy. This is probably a smart move, because by the time Avatar 2 comes out in December of 2016, it will have been a full seven years since the first movie hit theaters, and in our fickle pop culture, seven years is a long time (they rebooted Spider-Man in less than five years… although they might be questioning the wisdom of that right about now.)
In a statement from Twentieth Century Fox president Jim Gianopulos, he says “Avatar remains a phenomenon that continues to inspire people around the globe, and combining it with the live event ingenuity of Cirque du Soleil is a perfect synthesis of imagination and talent.” Well, he’s supposed to say that of course… but is it really true? Five years later I don’t see a lot of Avatar cosplay, t-shirts or merchandise around.
Compare it to something like Star Wars, Star Trek or Marvel, and there is no comparison when it comes to cultural staying power. My gut tells me Avatar is akin to The Matrix — a cool movie that had it’s moment in the sun, that people fondly remember, but one where the world it created didn’t deeply entrench itself into the imaginations of the people who saw it (especially kids). In other words, maybe one movie was enough. It sure was for The Matrix.