'Avatar' re-release and sequel details

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The Independent Culture

James Cameron's Avatar will enjoy a second life in re-release on August 27 with nine additional minutes of never-been-seen-before footage. This provides fans an opportunity to see the film in 3D for a limited time in theaters, even though the original version is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

The Oscar- and Gold Globe-winning sci-fi epic is taking advantage of the explosion of 3D theaters since last December for moviegoers who missed the experience as well as diehard fans.

The additional footage is set in the rainforest during both day and night, Cameron revealed to MTV. There is a hunting sequence, riding of Cameron's direhorse creatures, Na'vi counterattack action, a powerful emotional scene, and a creature called the stingbat (from the video game).

The all-time blockbuster, which took more than $2.7 billion worldwide at the box office, has announced the initial re-release schedule, with more dates to follow:

August 26 - Australia and Russia
August 27 - The UK, India and the US
September 8 - Belgium
September 16 - South Korea and Argentina
September 17 - Spain
October 15 - Mexico
October 16 - Japan

The director also told MTV that Avatar and the sequels will be novelized. He is looking at the books releasing in late 2010 or early 2011.

"Ideally that becomes a bible for any other writers that want to come along and riff off with other Avatar-based stories," he said. "I don't mind opening up the universe. I just don't want that to happen until I've got more meat on the bones."

Next year, the sequel stories will be turned into scripts. Cameron is considering shooting the two sequels - Avatar 2 and 3 - back-to-back at the same time in order to bank all the motion capture for a more efficient production.