James Cameron has cast Stephen Lang and Michelle Rodriguez in Avatar, the director’s new film scheduled for a May 22, 2009 release.
They will join Australian actor Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Wes Studi and CCH Pounder in the performance-capture pic, which is in production in Los Angeles. In October, the company will move to Wellington, New Zealand, close to Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital, which is supervising the film’s visual effects.
Lang (A Few Good Men, Defiance, Death of a Salesman) plays a seasoned Marine Corps colonel who travels to the faraway planet Pandora to take charge of its troops.
Rodriguez plays an ex-Marine pilot.
Avatar is a $190 million hybrid of live-action and animation. Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment team has researched a mix of live-action cinematography and virtual photorealistic production techniques which will feature virtual characters. Thirty-one days of live-action photography will begin on Weta soundstages in October.
The movie will be produced by Cameron and Jon Landau for Lightstorm. Mauro Fiore (Training Day, The Island, The Kingdom) has been hired as d.p.
Avatar will be filmed in a new digital 3-D format.