Ubisoft has announced that it has secured the video game development and publishing rights to Twentieth Century Fox's Avatar
, an upcoming feature film written and directed by James Cameron (Titanic, Terminator 2
Expected to be released alongside the movie in May 2009, the ambitious project, which some have reported to carry a budget of close to $200 million, will tell the story of an ex-Marine who inhabits an alien body, and who must take sides in a conflict between humans and aliens on a distant world. The movie will feature a mix of live action and computer animation, with digital effects created by Peter Jackson’s New Zealand-based effects company WETA Digital, known for its work on The Lord of the Rings
trilogy and King Kong
Commented Cameron: "For the movie Avatar
we are creating a world rich in character, detail, conflict and cultural depth. It has the raw material for a game that the more demanding gamers of today will want to get their hands on -- one that is rich in visuals and ideas, and challenging in play."
"I told the Ubisoft team I wanted them to be free to do their very best work, and not think of this as a movie-based game," he added. "They responded with a fully realized presentation which captured the soul of the world and the characters, while promising to be a knockout game on its own terms. Their passion inspired my confidence that they are going to do something transcendental."
While few details regarding the upcoming movie adaptation have been announced, Avatar
is not the first time James Cameron has been aligned with a video game project. In early 2006, the Academy Award-winning director was confirmed
to be working on a mysterious project called Project 880
, which he at the time revealed as both an online multiplayer game as well as an eventual film.