Another rumor possibly debunked, the rumor in question being the character design allegedly leaked from the production office of James Cameron’s currently in production science-fiction epic Avatar.
The image first showed up at MarketSaw and while it made its way across the internet (We posted the story here), MarketSaw was reportedly contacted by the legal folks at Twentieth Century Folks with a request to remove the image, a move that certainly lent legitimacy to the image.
But now, following up on their debunking of MarketSaw’s report that Peter Jackson was definitely inline to direct a two-part adaptation of The Hobbit, AintItCoolNews has run a report quoting an email from Cameron who states he has never seen the piece before-
You recently posted some artwork of a supposed Na’vi character. Don’t know where you got it but it’s spurious. I’ve never seen that piece of art. We had a lot of free-ranging conceptual stuff in the early days of design two and a half years ago, and it might be something that was done then but not shown to me, but it is definitely not remotely our actual character design. Aside from two legs, two arms and a tail, it doesn’t have any features in common with our final designs. If I had to guess I’d say it’s a piece of fan art based on the description of the Na’vi from the old treatment which was leaked twelve years ago. That description is obsolete relative to the shooting script, since things have changed a lot over the years.
That puts the score at AintItCoolNews-2, MarketSaw- 0.
Or does it?
While AICN has strong ties with both Jackson and Cameron, it could very well be that each director issued denials for reasons other than the stories just being not true. It is possible that Jackson and New Line are in talks over The Hobbit and any confirmation or discussion of them could foul the deal. Similarly, Cameron has been enormously secretive about the details of Avatar and stating that the design isn’t something they’re using may be his attempt to get the cat back in the bag. We’ll see when Avatar hits screens on May 22, 2009. Heaven knows if or when we’ll see The Hobbit in theaters.