Avatar might be the only movie in the history of this site where nearly every bonus feature on its Special Edition release has been deserving of its own separate article, but I suppose thatâ€™s just the sort of movie that Avatar is. The two big items so far have been the 16 minutes of new footage and the filmâ€™s restored earthbound opening, and now weâ€™ve learned that the Special Edition will include two minutes of test footage from one of James Cameronâ€™s aborted film projects.
The Playlist says that the test footage is from Brother Termite, based on the book by Patricia Anthony. The novel is somewhat farcical in nature, and is told from the point-of-view of the leader of a race of extraterrestrials who have occupied the U.S. and gained control of the government. Cameron acquired the movie rights and John Sayles (co-writer of Piranha, The Howling and The Spiderwick Chronicles) wrote a script, but for unknown reasons, the project never made it past the pre-production stage.
What relevance does Brother Termite have to Avatar? Apparently, the film marked a stepping stone in his development of the performance capture technology used in Avatar, and the footage contains an early test of it.
And for those wondering: the photo at the top of the page is of the cover to the Special Edition, captured by Blu-ray.com from the trailer for A Message from Pandora, which will be another bonus feature on the disc. You may remember reading about it when it was announced that James Cameron would be expanding the topic (about Brazilian tribes who oppose the construction of a large dam thatâ€™s putting them at risk) into a 3D documentary.
Other special features on the disc include 68 minutes of deleted/unfinished scenes (yes, you read that number right), production featurettes (â€Sculpting Avatarâ€, â€œThe Amp Suitâ€, â€œNaâ€™vi Costumesâ€, â€œSpeaking Naâ€™Viâ€ and â€œPandora Floraâ€), and more. Read the full breakdown over at Bleeding Cool.
Avatar (Special Edition) hits DVD and Blu-ray on November 16th, 2010. The 3D Blu-ray, meanwhile, will be exclusively bundled with the Panasonic 3D Viera plasma TV in early December, and wonâ€™t be made available on its own until some time later.