Strong showings for "Eighth Grade" and "You Were Never Really Here" highlight the Independent Spirit Award nominations                Review: Round-Up: "At Eternity's Gate", "The Clovehitch Killer", "Jonathan", and "The Last Race"                "Green Book" is a crowd pleaser of the highest order and a definite Oscar contender                Steve McQueen and a phenomenal ensemble cast help make "Widows" look effortless                "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" offers something for every type of Coen Brothers fan                Updated Academy Award predictions for early November                Review Round-Up: "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch", "El Angel" "The Long Dumb Road", and "Outlaw King"                Taking a look at potential Best Documentary Feature contenders                "The Front Runner" is a terrific and timely film for right around Election Day                Hollywood Film Awards Marked the Launch of Awards Season                Taking a first crack at Golden Globe predictions                “The Favourite” and “The Front Runner”: Films to see in November                Awkwafina to Host 22nd Hollywood Film Awards                Review Round-Up: "Bodied", "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms", and "The Other Side of the Wind"                Rosamund Pike is a force to be reckoned with in "A Private War"        

James Cameron sets up “Avatar” shop in SoCal

By Sean O’Connell James Cameron recently went on an exploratory trip to the rainforests of South America to research parts two and three of “Avatar.” Now it appears he’ll try and duplicate what he saw in Southern California.

As Cameron continues to prepare material for the back-to-back sequels to his massive 3D hit, 20th Century Fox has signed a lease for studio and office space in Manhattan Beach and “will use the facility for the motion capture photography and high-tech production” on the two films, THR reports.

“Production of the original ‘Avatar’ was centered in Playa Vista at a property now known as the Hercules Campus, named for the Spruce Goose, the mammoth airplane built there by Howard Hughes in the 1940s. During the film’s four years of production, Lightstorm remained headquartered at a three-story, 26,277-square-foot office building Santa Monica, but Cameron spent most of his time in Playa Vista. … If things go as planned, Cameron would consolidate his offices and studio into one location — down the coast from his Malibu home,” THR writes.

What a tremendous boost such a production would create for California’s economy. Kudos to Cameron for keeping his anticipated production in the States. (Live action shots on the original film were shot in New Zealand.)

Now get to work, sir. Fox has saddled you with a December 2014 release date for “Avatar 2” (that title, no doubt, will change), while the third “Avatar” is expected in theaters the following December.

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