Sifting Through the Vanity Projects in the Festival's Fourth Year
Variety has a great story up about three big, upcoming films--each of which, for one reason or another, is making studio heads nervous. James Cameron's first film since Titanic is the 3D/CG/live-action sci-fi epic Avatar, slated to come out at the end of 2009; David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald story and has caused a rift between Finch and Paramount about the film's running length; and Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are... well, who the fuck knows what's up with Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are.
I'm stoked about all three of these--those are three of my favorite directors--but right now I'm just insanely curious about/impatient for Avatar, a film that Cameron's been talking about, on and off, for like 12 years. Just having Cameron return to sci-fi would be exciting enough, but Avatar feels like something utterly new to boot: When Variety says that Cameron's "goal is to change motion pictures as we know it," they're dead on, despite their questionable grammar. Cameron has always been part storyteller and part inventor, and if Avatar lives up to its promise, it won't only be as technically revolutionary as The Abyss, Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Titanic, but it also stands a very real chance of changing the way people go to movies. Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D was cute and all, but imagine a Cameron-scale mega-blockbuster, possibly showing exclusively in 3D and Imax, and you start to realize that a few years from now, going to the movies could be a substantially different experience.
But that's a ways off. In the meantime, I'm just going to hope that Fincher gets final say on what stays in Benjamin Button, and that a Spike Jonze-directed, Dave Eggers-written Where the Wild Things Are does, in fact, exist somewhere, and wasn't just something I gleefully hallucinated in a sweaty fever dream.