The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Cirque du soleil teaming up with James Cameron for 'Avatar' live show

  • Print

MONTREAL - The Cirque du soleil and James Cameron are teaming up to develop a live show based on the film director's revolutionary movie "Avatar," bringing the Na'vi people and their homeland of Pandora to life.

Cameron and Cirque du soleil president Daniel Lamarre announced the new project at a news conference in Montreal on Thursday at the C2MTL Commerce and Creativity business conference.

Lamarre said there is a creative challenge involved in bringing "Avatar" to the stage and there's big money attached to the production, although he wouldn't specify a dollar amount.

He would only say "Avatar" will cost as much or more as some of the company's bigger productions and will be developed in Montreal.

"We have to deliver to the level of James Cameron, which is not easy, but that's the challenge we gave to ourselves," Lamarre said.

The theatrical show inspired by the highest-grossing movie of all time is set to premiere in Montreal in late 2015 and to play venues in 350 different cities around the world over several years.

It's a second collaboration between the Canadian-born Cameron and the Cirque. The veteran filmmaker served as executive producer and camera operator in the 2012 3D film "Cirque du soleil: Worlds Away."

"For me it was all about 3D and trying to capture the magic of a Cirque de soleil show in 3D and bring it to a movie audience," Cameron said of the film, which received mixed reviews.

Cameron said the project was important because it allowed the two sides to get to know each other.

"I think we were artistically successful, but I think what we see is that there's something that is the true magic of a Cirque du soleil live show that can't be captured on film and must be experienced in person," Cameron said.

Now, they'll join forces again on the "Avatar" project, which has been discussed for two years.

The film "Avatar," released in 2009, is the highest grossing movie of all time, with a world-wide box office take of $2.8 billion.

Cameron said he has high hopes for the global-touring arena show, which will debut just as the highly anticipated film sequels are expected to be released in theatres.

Three "Avatar" film sequels are in the works, tentatively expected to be released between 2016 and 2018.

The visually stunning original film is set in the mid-22nd century. In it, humans are mining on Pandora, a moon that is also home to the Na'vi, the local humanoid natives who inhabit the planet.

The humans interact with the massive blue natives using an "Avatar," an engineered body with which humans are able to meld.

Cameron said the Cirque has a history of transporting their audiences to a different world, making the "Avatar" inspired show a perfect fit.

"I know there's going to be a real focus on creating that kind of visual beauty and that sense of wonder and the transport to another world, and that's what it is all about," Cameron said. "We hope to create an experience that's going to be absolutely unique for a global audience."

The Montreal-based Cirque du soleil will team with Cameron's and Jon Landau's Lightstorm Entertainment for the live project. Twentieth Century Fox, which financed and distributed "Avatar," is also a partner on the live show.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Glenn January won't blame offensive line for first loss

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Two baby tigers were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this morning, October 3rd, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.

View More Gallery Photos


Should political leaders be highly visible on the frontlines of flood fights and other natural disasters?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google