While Avatar is still doing strong business on regular-sized 3D digital screens after Alice in Wonderland forced it from IMAX theaters, Fox is already thinking ahead and planning for a re-release of the box office juggernaut later this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This extended cut of Avatar—which would be shown primarily on 3D screens—will likely be no more than 10 minutes longer, as films presented on analog IMAX screens cannot run longer than 170 minutes (the original theatrical cut of Avatar is just over 160 minutes). Not to spoil anything, but the new footage is expected to include nine-foot-tall blue people. And loincloths.
The trade notes that IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond recently said Cameron cut as many as 40 minutes from the film, but releasing all of that footage outside of a future DVD/Blu-ray release seems unlikely. As fun and awe-inspiring as Avatar is, I doubt people would be willing to sit through 200 minutes of it at a time in a theater. Well, the Na’vi cosplayers will be lining up regardless, but then again, blue body paint tends to get runny after about two and a half hours. Or so I’ve heard.
Gelfond said a 2D version of Avatar will be available on DVD and Blu-ray no later than May, while the re-release would probably happen in the fall.