Avatar director James Cameron was supposed to be in Seattle last week to make some sort of big announcement at the Experience Music Project|Science Fiction Museum (EMP|SFM). Unfortunately, nature didn’t feel like cooperating, and dumped a whole lot of snow on the city. As a result, Seattle declared a snow day, and said press conference was canceled.

Today, however, brings an announcement guaranteed to make everyone who painted themselves blue and dressed up as a Na’vi last Halloween salivate. EMP|SFM is teaming up with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products, and Cameron’s own Lightstorm Productions, to present Avatar: The Exhibition, which is scheduled to open in Seattle on June 4th, 2011. Avatar: The Exhibition promises fans of the highest grossing film of all time an unprecedented, first-hand look inside the world of Pandora. The display will include a variety of materials from the film, including costumes, props, concept models, and sketches from the production, as well as interactive installations and more.

The press release quotes Cameron as saying,

“The exhibition is going to be a unique opportunity for people to learn more not only about how the film was made, but also experience Pandora in a much deeper way. Fans will be able to see in-person the workmanship behind the film, whether it’s how scenes are captured; or how a Na’vi costume was built first as a real world garment then produced digitally… It’ll create a tactical reality that’ll be a good companion to having seen the movie.”

Avatar: The Exhibition pledges to provide items of interest for casual fans, as well as those who are more interested in the behind-the-scenes elements of the film, and the revolutionary technological innovations Cameron and company developed and employed.

While I’m not a huge fan of Avatar – I enjoyed the film, and it did look amazing, but I didn’t fall in love with it like many people – this exhibit sounds like it is going to be incredible, fan or not. Cameron isn’t known for doing things halfway, he likes to put on a show, and the EMP|SFM also does things right – so the potential is through the roof.

Some of the props will include the soldier’s uniforms, the actual AMP suit (Armored Mobility Platform—you know, that big, Robotech-looking thing) used during the giant battles scenes, and the original, hand-made models of the Na’vi, complete with their wardrobes. On the more immersive side of the coin, visitors to Avatar: The Exhibition will be able to replicate Cameron’s experience behind the camera. You’ll even be able to create your own Avatar-like film through a sequence of hands-on installations designed to demonstrate how the film employed groundbreaking motion-capture, virtual, and 3D technologies. Pandora will also be on display, including how the filmmakers created the planet, as well as the science behind the plant and animal life, background on the universe, and the origins of the Na’vi and their culture.

All in all, Avatar: The Exhibition should prove to be an exhaustive look at the film that became a worldwide phenomenon. Whether you’re a fan of Avatar, filmmaking, or science fiction films in general, this promises something for everyone.

Avatar: The Exhibition is scheduled to open June 4th, 2011 at the EMP|SFM in Seattle, and will run through September 3rd, 2012, when it will travel to other cities in the US and abroad

EMP|SFM Museum Hours
September 7th, 2010-May 30, 2011: 10AM-5PM
May 31st, 2011-September 5th 2011: 10AM-7PM

$15 for adults; $12 for youth (5-17), students, military, and seniors; FREE for members and children under 5

325 5th Ave N.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 770-2700—Main Line
(206) 770-2702—Box Office
1-877-EMP-SFM1—Toll Free

Culture EMP|SFM And James Cameron Announce ‘Avatar: The Exhibition’