May 22, 2017

“Avatar” just keeps getting longer, and longer, and longer …

By Sean O’Connell How long was James Cameron’s “Avatar” supposed to be?

A re-release of the Oscar-winning science fiction epic, which is in theaters today, adds an additional nine minutes of footage to what already was a hefty film. (The original theatrical cut ran 162 minutes.)

But wait. There’s more.

Speaking to the Oregonian, the director promises up to 45 minutes of unfinished deleted scenes as part of an “Avatar” box set that will be released in November. In that package will be Cameron’s original, nearly-five-minute opening to the film, which is set on Earth.

“We call it ‘the Earth opening.’ It’s about 4 1/2 minutes of stuff. And it was in for the longest time. It was very late in the day that we took it out,” said Cameron, who basically walked in one day and requested that his editors lop off the film’s opening to see if it would work the way he was seeing it in his head.

There isn’t a set release date on the special edition “Avatar” box set – which will differ from the “Avatar” Blu-ray and DVD that already are available. If nothing else, Cameron is a master marketer.

The extended “Avatar” is in theaters starting today.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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