When: Opening Friday at local theaters
Cast: Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez
Director: James Cameron
The story: In 2154 on the planet Pandora, a paraplegic ex-Marine joins a corporate mining operation’s scientific program — and finds a new life, and a new world, after he encounters the native Na’vi population.
The buzz: Cameron originally scripted “Avatar” years ago and wanted to make it immediately following his 1997 Oscar-winner “Titanic,” but he had to wait for filmmaking technology — and studio funding — to catch up with his imagination. Now that it has, Cameron employs 3-D, motion-capture and computer-generated imagery to create Pandora and its Na’vi population. The finished product is about 40 percent live-action and 60 percent computer-generated imagery. Weaver reunites with Cameron for the first time since 1986’s “Aliens” — and reportedly based her scientist character on Cameron himself.