Although it's been known for over 10 years that James Cameron had a dream project called "Avatar" in development, for a few years recently, as a sort of undercover title, this movie was sometimes referred to as Project 880. This movie will be a blend of live action and photorealistic CGI "image-based performance capture techniques" all filmed in, and presented in, digital 3D.
Other key technologies being used are concurrent twin digital cameras to create the sensation of depth perception necessary for true 3D, and camera sensors on each actors so that the director can see their perspective during filming. 20th Century Fox predicts, in its press release, that by the time of its 2009 release, digital 3D theaters will be widespread.
Set in the 23rd century, this is the story of how paralyzed ex-marine Jake Sully finds himself recruited in an effort to colonize and exploit the natural resources of an exotic jungle planet rich in bio-diversity (AKA lots of neat monsters and critters), taking control of an "avatar" of a 10-foot-tall blue-skinned alien belonging to the planet's predominant indigenous race, the Na'vi. When he falls in love with one of the Na'vi, however, Jake throws himself over to the side of the Na'vi, leading them in a revolt against the other humans, in a giant clash between the Na'vi and Human armies.
Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7) www.beyondgenes.com