It's a film we know little about, and yet we anticipate it like no other movie this year. James Cameron's Avatar arrived at the E3 convention in Las Vegas in video game form via Ubisoft (who plan to release a 3D companion game alongside the movie). The video game, which we previewed earlier this week, won't follow the same plot as the new film, though Entertainment Weekly -- who had a chance to watch some footage from the game -- revealed a nice, detailed chunk of what we can expect from Avatar (the movie), plot-wise. Though I wouldn't think these were spoilers (more set up than spoiler-ish), I will warn you that plot information will be revealed.

From EW: The setting: the planet of Pandora, which humans are keenly interested in because of an energy-rich mineral known as Unobtanium, valued at $20 million an ounce. (This not-subtle symbolic argot is easily Avatar's least-inspired aspect.) The planet is jungle on super-steroids. Floating mountains, 900-foot-tall trees, phosphorescent vegetation that can light up the night. Pretty spectacular.

And pretty deadly, too. The air on Pandora is toxic. The flesh-eating plants and vicious wildlife, like the ravenous, shark-quick jungle dogs known as Viper Wolves, aren't too friendly, either. In order to bring Unobtanium out of the ground, Earth's interstellar miners require equipment a little more sophisticated than a hard hat, gas mask, and canary: they have to download their minds into synthetic bodies called avatars that have been genetically engineered to survive and thrive within Pandora's environment.


Sounds very earthy, and hopefully the environmental messages don't stomp on our heads the whole time. Head on over to Entertainment Weekly to read the rest. Avatar hits theaters on December 18.

Discuss: Do you think Avatar's environmental protection plot will be too preachy?
categories Features, Movies, Sci-Fi