Fox Debunks ‘Avatar’ Trailer Rumors

Studio squelches rumors that it will premiere before “Transformers 2.”

Last Updated: May 21, 2009 @ 12:06 PM

Everyone wants to catch a glimpse of James Cameron’s "Avatar."

Since summer’s tentpole season is in high gear and people have big movies on their minds, it only makes sense that the director’s long-in-the-works follow-up to "Titanic" is a scorching topic.

Fox is releasing the film on Dec. 18, but the big question right now seems to be: "Where’s the trailer?"

A widespread web rumor on Wednesday has it being placed before Paramount’s "Transformers 2."

The studio’s reaction: "Nope."

And a closer look at the summer schedule indicates that’s the truth.

First of all, Paramount has its own "Avatar" — kind of. The studio’s "The Last Airbender," from director M. Night Shyamalan, is based on the popular animated program "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and is being released in 2010. Turns out that’s the trailer everyone will see before "Transformers 2." It also makes perfect sense because the Michael Bay sequel is a Paramount film.

Besides, "Transformers 2" isn’t in 3D. And wouldn’t Fox want to screen its huge 3D trailer before another 3D movie?

Presto … Fox’s very own "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" is being released on July 1 in 3D, so the move to showcase Cameron’s "Avatar" is obvious. Fox hasn’t confirmed the move.

Aside from the trailers furor, a Wednesday story by Michael Cieply in the New York Times, shined some light on Imax’s plans for "Avatar." Cieply reports that the large-screen giant hasn’t lined up any other movies between "Avatar" and  Tim Burton’s "Alice in Wonderland" in March 2010. Clearly, they think "Avatar’s" going to be huge and want to keep their schedule free to let it play out.

To compare blockbuster-ness, Cieply points out that "Star Trek" spent only two weeks in Imax release before "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" and "Terminator" take over the screens this weekend. New Imax venues are coming down the pike for 2010 and beyond, which should loosen the string.

Finally, fan frenzy has hit a fever pitch with "Avatar." Faux art and fake trailers are multiplying online like very few films before it. And check out the thousands of rumor sites online.

Fox is mum on all the fake publicity, but it must be thrilled.

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