Avatar Goes 60 FPS, Gets Theme Park

Director James Cameron says that the two much anticipated “Avatar” sequels could be shot at a higher frame rate than expected. The industry standard has been 24 frames per second for decades. The upcoming “The Hobbit” prequels are being shot at double the rate – 48 frames per second.

Now, Cameron tells The Hollywood Reporter that he’s weighing the possibility of shooting 60 frames per second and the impact it will have on his job, audiences and exhibitors – “I think it is such an affinitive answer. But other people may choose 48 for other reasons. The 3D shows you a window into reality; the higher frame rate takes the glass out of the window. The reason I went down that path is because I believe it makes for better 3D. There were lots of arguments for why 48 and why 60.”

He continues, “My feeling is if it is a software upgrade (for digital cinema projectors), do both. It doesn’t change anything at the projector; you don’t have to change the lamp house or the lenses. If you are uploading software you can upload it for 48 and 60 and let the filmmakers decide. If the exhibitors will adopt the idea of a dual standard, than I’ll probably want to shoot 60. If they don’t, then I will have to look very carefully at the pros and cons of 60 and 48.”

Meanwhile, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide is joining forces with Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment to “bring the world of ‘Avatar’ to life at Disney parks” according to a press release via Business Wire.

Disney will partner with Cameron and producer Jon Landau to create themed lands that will give theme park guests the opportunity to explore the mysterious universe of “Avatar” first hand. The first themed land will be built at Walt Disney World, within the Animal Kingdom park. Construction is expected to begin by 2013.

The agreement announced today gives Disney exclusive global theme park rights to the franchise and provides for additional “Avatar” themed lands at other Disney parks. Cameron, Landau and their Lightstorm Entertainment group will serve as creative consultants on the projects and will partner with Walt Disney Imagineering in the design and development of the themed lands.

The “Avatar” sequels are currently scheduled for a late 2014 and 2015 release.