Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fox Co-Chairman Tom Rothman Talks AVATAR: "Coolest Shit I've Ever Seen"

Not that we need anything more 'verbally' to get excited about AVATAR, but this is a very frank discussion with Tom Rothman, the co-chairman of Fox and IESB that I thought you should be made aware of. Special thanks to MarketSaw reader "Darkoo" who alerted me. The emphasis below is mine:

IESB: You mentioned Avatar, everything that we are hearing about it, it sounds great but it also sounds SO expensive, and a lot has to do with the investment in the technology to make the film. At the same time, is it because you hope to use the technology on other stuff too?
TR: Yes, but I guess I should say that I won't comment on the exact budget except to say that as always with Jim [Cameron] everything is misreported, everything is exaggerated, because he is larger than life and so everything surrounding him tends to be larger than life. While it's obviously an expensive movie, it's not an unprecedented expensive movie and it's not even the most expensive movie we've made at the company and certainly not close to the most expensive movie that's been made in the business recently. But, it is in absolute terms a costly undertaking, is because it's an entirely revolutionary technology. It will be a movie unlike anything audiences have ever seen. And, genuinely brand new, genuinely unlike anything that has ever been seen and that's hard to do and that isn't cheap.

IESB: And it's an original film, it's not based on a comic book or other material...
TR: It's an entirely original film, it's not a television show, it's not a comic book, it's a thing that all of the punditocracy, all of the media and the audience cry out for, true originality. And yes, you never know and I wouldn't presume now, but the idea is, Jim Cameron tends to make hits and if the movie is a hit then this is the beginning, certainly for both the use of the technology and the work, it's not going to stop here. So, there's long term value to it as well.

IESB: So, potentially, this is a franchise?
TR: If it does well, yes, absolutely, in terms of an arena a whole new world. But for us, it isn't any of that, it isn't even the technology, it isn't even the look and the world all of which is the coolest shit I've ever seen, it isn't even any of that, it's that it's a great story. It's just a great story. You read the story and you are gripped by every page, it's just a great, original story with tremendously, classic emotional value. So, at the end of the day, that's really what we're here for, to try and make great stories when you can find them.

So, very potential sequels and as we all knew - a great story! IESB may have more to read about AVATAR in the coming days - I will keep you posted.

Source: IESB

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