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Cirque du Soleil and James Cameron team up on Avatar live show

Canadian director James Cameron poses for the media to promote Avatar in Moscow December 9, 2009.


The Cirque du Soleil and James Cameron are teaming up to develop a live show based on the film director's revolutionary movie Avatar.

The live show is set to premiere in Montreal in late 2015 and then play venues around the world.

Cameron and Cirque du Soleil president Daniel Lamarre made the announcement about the new project at a news conference in Montreal on Thursday.

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Lamarre said there is a creative challenge involved in bringing Avatar to the stage.

"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.

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

"We immediately recognized in each other people who were very creative and very dedicated to taking the audience on an experience," Cameron said. "Not just showing them something, but involving them and engaging their imagination and even their subconscious mind."

Now, they'll join forces again.

Cameron said the relationship between the two groups has been several years in the making and discussions about the live show have been going on for a few years.

"We've been through the fire together and we now know each other," Cameron said. "The only way to really know people you're going to be partners with is actually to go through a project together."

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

"We hope to create an experience that's going to be absolutely unique for a global audience," Cameron said.

Avatar, released in 2009, is the highest grossing film of all time, with a world-wide box office take of $2.8 billion (U.S.).

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.

Three Avatar film sequels are in the works, with the first one expected in 2016.

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