You guys may already know these but for the sake of those who do not know it like yours truly, here are some Avatar trivia.
In early December 2005, a casting call for the female lead was posted on the website of Mali Finn Casting. It erroneously identified the movie as James Cameron's Battle Angel.
Michael Biehn was considered for the role of Col. Quaritch. James Cameron rejected him because he'd already cast Sigourney Weaver, and he didn't want people to think it was Aliens all over again.
James Cameron originally planned to have the film completed for release in 1999. At the time, the special effects he wanted increased the budget to $400 million. No studio would fund the film, and it was shelved for eight years.
The movie is 40% live action and 60% photo-realistic CGI. A lot of motion capture technology was used for the CGI scenes.
James Cameron was convinced that CGI effects had progressed enough to make this film when he saw Gollum in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
Promotional items were shipped to cinemas under the name "Project 880".
In the UK, the film was shipped in two parts, under the code name "Redbird". Reels 1-5 were delivered first; 6-10 came the following day.
To help the actors prepare for their roles, director James Cameron took the cast and crew to Hawaii, where they spent their days trekking through the forests and jungles and living like tribes (building campfires, eating fish, etc), in order to get a better sense of what it would be like to live and move around in the jungle on Pandora, since there would not be any actual jungle sets to aid and guide the actors and crew. Zoe Saldana even dressed up as a warrior during these journeys, complete with an alien tail symbolic of the one her character has in the movie. These hikes were only done during the daytime, though; the cast and crew spent their nights at a Four Seasons hotel.
One of the most expensive movies ever made (as of December 2009), with an estimated budget of US $280,000,000.
The first time Sigourney Weaver has appeared in a James Cameron film since Aliens.
In much of the movie, Sigourney Weaver's avatar wears a Stanford tank top. Weaver attended Stanford in the early 1970s.
The Na'vi language was created entirely from scratch by linguist Paul R. Frommer. James Cameron hired him to construct a language that the actors could pronounce easily, but did not resemble any single human language. Frommer created about 1000 words.
Though he is not credited in the film, several locations look very similar to paintings by English surrealist Roger Dean, most notably his works "Floating Islands" and "Arches".
In the Thai version, Jake Sully is a "Navi" who becomes a "Na'vi". The Thai word for Marine is "Na-vig-ga-yo-tin", but the translator shortened it to make the voice-over sync.
The actors playing the Na'vi had cameras attached to their head so that they filmed close-ups of their faces. Dots painted on their faces allowed motion-capture software to record their facial expressions, providing a 'framework' from which the CG artists worked.
The first (and only, as of 2010) science fiction feature film by James Cameron that does not involve or mention nuclear weapons.
Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal were the studio's first choice to play Jake Sully, but James Cameron decided to cast an unknown Sam Worthington in the lead role.
The film reached the US$500 million dollar mark in 32 days, beating The Dark Knight's previous record of 45 days. James Cameron's previous film, Titanic, took 98 days to reach the US$500 million dollar mark.
"Avatar" is Sanskrit for "incarnation". It is used extensively in Hindu scriptures to refer to human incarnations of God.
According to James Cameron, the Na'vi are blue to create a conceptual parallel with traditional Hindu depictions of God (e.g., in the forms of Vishnu, Shiva, Rama, Krishna, etc.), but also because "I just like the color blue."
Ey'wa, the deity of the Na'vi people, is a mixed-up pronunciation of "Yahweh", the God of the Hebrews.
Became the highest-grossing film of all time on January 26th, 2010, with a final worldwide gross of US$ 2,779,404,183. The previous record-holder was Titanic, also written and directed by James Cameron, with a worldwide gross of US$1,843,201,268.
The word "na'vi" in Hebrew means prophet. A na'vi is a visionary or someone who communicates directly with God. Its plural, nevi'im, refers to the prophetic books of the bible, which include "Judges," "Kings," and "Isaiah."
According to Sam Worthington, he was invited to the casting via a phone call. Who called told him nothing about the script, nor even told the director's name and Sam was disappointed at first, thinking it was "another waste of time".
Sam Worthington said in an interview that it was easier for him to master the Na'vi language than the American accent.
The first in a proposed trilogy.
James Cameron wanted an unknown actor to play Sully, because it would give the character a "real" quality. The guy you want to have a beer with, who ultimately becomes the leader that transforms a whole world.
James Cameron: His voice is heard on the radio shortly after the first shot of the Dragon Gunship in midair.
The cigarette that Sigourney Weaver's character 'smokes' is computer generated.
Jake's atrophied legs were prosthetics cast from the legs of a real paraplegic. Sam Worthington's real legs were tucked into the wheelchair and digitally removed in post-production.
Credits to IMDb.