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Bob Iger and James Cameron: Can the King of Hollywood Manage the King of the World?

When Cameron's "Avatar" resumes move from Fox to Disney as part of Fox's $ 71 billion merger, they join in a crowded movie release. "We are very sad that the Murdochs have decided to sell the company," says franchise producer Jon Landau. "But if they sell the company, there is no better thing than Disney to sell it to."

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When James Cameron took six months more than planned in 1997 to finish the Titanic he crashed into Fox with Rupert Murdoch and apologized for the delays and promised the mogul His costly disaster epic would be "good." "It's better, a damn good sight than better," Murdoch told Cameron, giving the dizzying star filmmaker at his studio the extra time he wanted to pay out in 1

1 Oscars and nearly $ 2.2 billion in box office worldwide and the speech "I am the king of the world".

Cameron's relationship with the Murdochs was unusually strong, based on shared ambition and oversized successes, beginning with Cameron's Aliens [19869007] in 1986, which Rupert achieved after his purchase of the studio his first major hit and 2009 release led by Avatar (19459007), which is the world's tallest movie of all time at $ 2.7 billion

Well, day After Disney closed its $ 71.3 billion Fox deal, it is the director of Avatar in the sequels to a very different company in which intellectual property such as Star Wars and Marvel are rated higher than any star, and where the latitude he with which Murdochs enjoyed is rare.

"We are very sad that the Murdochs wanted to sell the company," says Jon Landau, producer of Cameron at Lightstorm Entertainment. "But if they want to sell the company, there's no better thing than Disney to sell it to. They get Avatar for their potential, not just as a movie, but as a franchise."

Landaus optimism is based on years of experience that he and Cameron have already worked with Disney: In 2011, managing director Bob Iger turned to Cameron to create a avatar land in the conglomerate theme parks. Following the signing of a $ 500 million licensing agreement with Lightstorm in 2014, Disney Pandora opened The World of Avatar, a 12 acre area in Animal Kingdom, Florida, with a 3D flight simulator, boat attraction, retail stores and restaurants ,

There are now four Avatar movie sequences in the works, which Cameron has repeatedly postponed to complete the screenplays and develop the technologically-intensive production pipeline that includes the introduction of underwater motion capture photography.

The first ] Avatar The sequel was originally scheduled for 2014, but is expected to hit theaters on December 18, 2020, eleven years after the original. The date may shift again as Avatar fits into the other franchises of the new studio – Disney's release calendar has an unnamed Disney live action movie, which is expected on December 23, 2020. (The other Avatar supplements are scheduled for December 17, 2021 and December 20, 2024 a Dec. 19, 2025.)

Although Lightstorm and Disney have met in recent months to Talking about their licensing agreement and theme park, the Federal Trade Commission's regulations prevented companies from engaging in issues related to studio acquisition, and Landau says there has not been any discussion since the deal was closed.

"We continue to do the same production as last week," says Landau after the merger. The series Avatar are shot simultaneously, with Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana reinterpreting their roles. In her new position at Disney, Emma Watts, vice president of 20th Century Fox Film, is expected to continue to oversee the Avatar episodes .

Landau adds, "We have a long-standing relationship with Emma and respect."

This story first appeared in the Hollywood Reporter's March 27 issue. To get the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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