Avatar Teaser Trailer – Featuring Zoe Saldana

Usually we wait until our weekend sci-fi wrapups for new genre trailers, but this morning was the highly anticipated debut of the teaser trailer for what is being touted as a ‘game changing’ new 3D sci-fi movie, Avatar from James Cameron (The Terminator, Titantic, Aliens). The film features Star Trek’s Zoe Saldana, who plays a CGI created character. 


The Avatar teaser trailer
The trailer can be viewed at Apple.com.


(According to the Official Avatar Twitter, it is also available internationally on YouTube )

The story of Avatar takes place on an alien moon called Pandora, which is home to the Na’vi race, and where humans are encroaching. Humans cannot breath the air, but they have created special Na’vi/human hybrids which can be controlled as ‘avatars’ by humans. Jake Sully, an injured marine played by Sam Worthington (Terminator 4), takes on an ‘avatar’ to act as a scout and he goes deep into Pandora and eventually joins up with Neytiri, a Na’vi female warrior played by Zoe Saldana (via motion capture technology and rendered in CGI).

Cameron conceived of the film back in the 90s, but couldn’t realize his vision until the CGI technology caught up to what he had in mind. Fox promises that Avatar is “a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film, disappears into the emotion of the characters and the sweep of the story.”

Avatar opens December 18th, more info at avatarmovie.com.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Zoe looks great…no matter what color she is!

They speak on AICN about how this film will…copulate…our eyeballs. And Cameron himself said that this was going to change the game.

It looks good and all, but I don’t think it is as photo real as they said it was going to be. And at a reported cost of $350 million (!!) it probably will change the game. Start looking for more studios to see how they can do movies on the Cloverfield and District 9 budget.

Go Zoe & James C!
Looks great!

So, why is it that the trailer did absolutely nothing for me? I was looking forward to seeing what all the hype was about. Guess it wasn’t anything like I expected.

I was more excited about this movie before I saw the trailer.

I’m a little worried that this is going to turn out to be another Final Fantasy: Spirits Within, but I’ll give it a watch.

Looks amazing. I’m really excited for this.

It’s made for children and young teens. District 9 was made for adults and it was awesome.


Yeah me too. But let’s remember this IS a scifi movie from James Cameron.

Even it’s not terribly original or revolutionary, it’s bound to have an engaging story and some kickass action.

4. JimJ
I have read a few reviews of the footage that was screened at Comic-Con, and most agreed that while the footage shown was impressive, it seemed to leave a few people with a “Meh” feeling. I think I can already see what direction this movie will take. I feel like I know how this movie wil end, having seen most (but not all) of the teaser.

3. THX-1138
I find myself thinking this movie may wind up being a noble failure. It may be pushing the boundaries of filmmaking, but its’ colossal budget (and the fact that it’s a new franchise) will make it hard to turn a profit.

I don’t know about “game changing”, but it definately seems worth a look.

Mr. Cameron has a bit of thing about hyperbole, don’t you know.

I dunno, Cameron going back to scifi seems a good thing in my book.

its hard to judge this movie by the glimpses of scenes, when i am, able to see a scene with the aliens talking and moving in a casual way, i will decide then if it’s believable. i see influences of star wars (prequel) as well as final fantasy and starship troopers. I’m not sure if cameron wants to make a profit here, I think he may be making his dream film, I will go see the film regardless, for some imaginative sci-fi.

I really liked the trailer (be sure to watch it in HD), but I’ll admit it didn’t blow me away.

However, I’m more excited now than I was before for “Avatar Day” tomorrow. Seeing it all in IMAX 3-D should be an amazing experience.

Oh and by the way, the reported budget is $240 million.

I love it. This looks great. Cameron is my all-time favorite director and screenwriter of sci-fi and I think this movie will surprise a lot of people. He knows what he’s doing. And no, he doesn’t make action for the sake of action — there’s always something driving it in his films… so I suspect his emphasis on curiosity and intellect in this trailer, over the action, is just to let us know that his won’t be a no-brain blockbuster. I’d love to see a Star Trek movie attempt this scale of exploration of a new world.

The money I could have used to check out just how bad Transformers really was, will be going into this baby instead. Go James Cameron.

Yawn. Another movie about humans and the military being evil. How about an original idea for a change?

It does look amazing, probably even more so in 3-D. I just hope the technology doesn’t smother the story.


I had a similar feeling. The one thing that keeps my optimism afloat is the fact that Cameron has en eye for good storytelling, so hopefully the special effects won’t overshadow the emotion and scope of what he’s trying to accomplish. However, I still think District 9 will be the true sci-fi winner this year.

well that trailer just killed my expectations, I was expecting revolutionary realistic imagery I got a cartoon.

Same ol’ as every other movie cgi the past few years. OMG LOOK GUYS GI JOE, IN SPACE!

So many haters….

I can remember the negative comments prior to Titanic – everyon especulated it would suck, bomb, sink (insert your own iceburg metaphor).

Then it played for over a year in theaters, and was the first single film to break the billion dollar mark.

Maybe he’s done it again.

Looks fun. Don’t know that these CGI creations are any more real looking that Golem or Jar Jar, but I know with Cameron directing, I won’t be bored!

Man, CGI Andy Serkis all you want to, but Ms. Saldana is too pretty to hide!


This isn’t even close to hate. Go to AICN for that. I think it is reasonable to say that the visuals don’t exactly match up to the hyperbole that was being put forth about the look of this film. Still, I will be there in line to see it and enjoying every minute of it.

Epic. Epic, epic, epic.

I’m almost as eagerly anticipating District 9 (no, haven’t seen it yet), but frankly, I think AVATAR is going to put Star Trek to shame. (And I love Star Trek; sorry, folks.)

@ #22


Video is now missing. I was too late!

The embed stopped working, but the link to the Apple trailers still works. I removed the embed

JC should direct TREK12!!!

hey she kinda looks cute in a creepy knda way.

Those little flying vehicles look like Hornets to me, from Halo 3.

But damn, this looks impressive.

The reason this movie is called a “game changer” is that the technology that had to be created for this movie will be used to make other movies.

Kinda like they had to invent PhotoShop in order to make Cameron’s The Abyss. That actually happened.

Technology aside though, I am really hoping to get an immersive view at a truly different world. The trailer gave me hope for that.

Just watched the trailer and……………………..m’eh!

That’s it??

I am so nonplussed by this. I wasn’t excited by this before hand and now with the trailer I am even less intrigued. I hope I’m wrong but this movie will fall on its face. The budget is way too much for a movie and in order for it to make a profit (by studio standards) the movie will have to make at least $450 million dollars if not more. It can’t make back only its budget in box office terms or otherwise its deemed a failure. I am not a huge fan of Cameron (although Aliens is good) but I tried to not let that interfere with my critique.

If they created technology for this movie and we are seeing the results of said technology in this teaser then they wasted their money. It’s looks good…sure, but it most certainly doesn’t look like anything else that could be created with current technology.

Now if Cameron comes out and says that the humans in the trailer were CG then maybe it was worth it. Quite frankly I’m not seeing the revolutionary look like we saw with The Abyss and T2.

I haven’t really followed the stories about this movie, other than it would be “revolutionary” Uh, based soley on this trailer, not so much…….

I was struck by the obvious distinction between the CGI scenes and the live-action scenes. Actually, the distintion was quite glaring and obvious. I have yet to see convincing “live action” CGI involving life forms. They all look like video game characters. Uh, no thanks!

Is it just me, or are the CGI characters created for LOTR more realistic that what was shown in the trailer? And that was made how long ago?

Revolutionary? Not so much. Time will tell. But what do I know, I’m sure it will make a bazillion $’s at the boxoffice.

First off, keep JC the hell away from Trek XII. JJ’s our man!!

Two trailers were released today, Avatar & The Wolfman.
Wolfman already looks better.

I was SO looking forward to the Avatar teaser and, while I will still hold out for the actual movie before I make my judgement (unlike a lot of people over at AICN), my anticipation level has diminished greatly today.

It’s like Final Fantasy meets Dances with Wolves. And not in a good way!!

# 3 –
I totally agree. Bloated budgets don’t guarantee profit, or even a good movie.

#9, #20 –
Yeah, just like Titanic, which made viewers watch Leonardo and Kate pout for 2 hours before the REAL story started…… Don’t confuse “box office” with “good movie”. They’re not the same thing. Nor are “hype” and “quality”.

The hardware looked good. The critters not so much.

I’m like Anthony Lewis at #34 above — if the humans in that trailer are CGI, well then, that IS a game-changer!

Scott B. out.

it looks incredible, the trailer was okay, but i’m sure the movie itself will be something else.

#37: “Don’t confuse “box office” with “good movie”. They’re not the same thing. Nor are “hype” and “quality”.”

That song doesn’t play very well at _this_ saloon, partner ;)

And as for Avatar … argh. Requires Quicktime. No good. I’ll wait for later versions. I like the still, though! Good still.

# 38 –

Uh, it’s as obvious as the nose on my face, or yours. The difference is glaring, obvious, and distracting. No game changer, sorry.

Brian K out.

#40 –

“That song doesn’t play very well at _this_ saloon, partner ;)”

It plays very well, thank you. We all can hear it. We’re well aware of your dislike of the new film. Has your song ever been shut down? The fact that the majority of us heard your song, disagree, and think your song is off-tune and unlistenable is irrelevant. To each his own ;-)

And, as for Avatar: if you have seen or played any video game (like Halo 3) over the past year, you’ve seen the “revolutionary” aspects of the film. BTW, there are free Quicktime alternative players available, without the hassles of Quicktime. That’s what I use.

It looks like World of Warcraft.

Zemeckis’s “Beowulf” eclipsed this two years ago.

Massive production delays can always be disguised as “CGI technology needed to catch up with the director’s vision” in corporate-speak. Judging by the trailer, we’re not in for anything particularly innovative.

If it’s a good Cameron flick, it’s probably worth a rental.

Just watched the trailer again, and was reminded of a thought I had the first time I saw it: Did it occur to the genius Mr Cameron that the “Vulcan pointy-ear thing” has been done maybe once or twice before?

I wasn’t moved by this…the effects were not all that impressive to me.
It looked very cartoony I thought and I was expecting very realistic rendering.

#42: “We’re well aware of your dislike of the new film.”

Buh? I like the new film. Heck, I seem to be one of the tiny handful around here who really liked the Spock/Uhura thing and had no complaints about the Engineering sets :/ Loved the pacing, loved the comedy. Liked Keenser, too, which seems to also make me a minority.

Are you confusing me with another poster? (or – and I hope not – are you confused by the idea of someone who likes the new film simultaneously having critiques of it? There are _aspects_ of the film I dislike; does that make me a “hater?” do I fail to live up to some fanatical idea of what a “true fan” is?)

“And, as for Avatar: if you have seen or played any video game (like Halo 3) over the past year, you’ve seen the “revolutionary” aspects of the film.”

Heh. I haven’t, but the techie/SFX stuff isn’t of interest to me (I know, I know, I’m a bad geek for not caring about SFX; can’t help it – I dig the genre for reasons other than the sparkly whiz-bang).

“BTW, there are free Quicktime alternative players available, without the hassles of Quicktime. That’s what I use.”

Yah … I had one of those on a previous install. Just haven’t had anything claw at me affectionately enough to inspire me to re-install.

I remember when Cameron said that ‘Sphere’ was going to change the way effects in movies will be made. And the game changer was CGI. And from what little I know about ‘Avatar’ may change how the Virtual Actor is used, also known as a Vactor.

Just think if this comes true we may be able to write and create our own Star Trek episodes.

P.S. Star Trek refers to TOS, TNG, DSN, VOY, ENT. and let us reset all the 4:3 TV shows into the new 16:9 HD format. Like I’ve written about many times before.

Well, I saw the trailer this morning and I was kinda expecting something fantastic and instead I got a plainly obvious cg effect and a predictible storyline- sorta of like the cg B.O. bomb The Battle for Terra.
James Cameron had been obsessed with 3-d filmmaking so much since “Titanic”. He has not directed a movie since Titanic and has only produced 3-d documentries and the tv show Dark Angel. He was set to do a remake of Fantastic Voyage but his script was turned down as too much like INNERSPACE and not enough Fantastic Voyage. I think it will do well as even a crappy film like Spiderman 3 can do well, his name will get people in the theaters but the end result will be like Watchmen- fans of the book loved it but not much from there. But I really don’t see any major “game-changing” potential in it and I agree “the Wolfman” trailer was better-that I am looking forward to!

Looks amazing. In one sense, the CG could be a lot better, but I think its just the look and feel of the movie, which so far seems to work. Either way, looks original, which, aside from Star Trek, this year’s been lacking.

#41 – I totally agree with you. I was joking in a way that was not as plain as a (catlike) nose on a (cartoony-looking) face. I shoulda put a smiley. My bad.

Scott B. out.