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Canadian-born director James Cameron, shown in November 2006, will begin work in the spring on Avatar. ((Dan Steinberg/Associated Press))

Canadian filmmaker James Cameron is ready to start shooting Avatar this spring, nearly 10 years since the last feature film he directed, the Oscar-winning Titanic.

Cameron has a $200-million budget for the picture, a 3-D, trail-blazing science fiction movie that will combine digitalanimation with live action.

He first began to develop the movie's concept before making Titanic.

Cameron told the Hollywood Reporter it should take only 31 days to shoot the live action parts of the film, which is the story of a group of humans battling the population of a distant planet.

Australian actor Sam Worthingtonhas the lead roleof planetary adventurer Jack Sully,and most of the cast are relative unknowns.

The performance-capture technology needed for the ambitious 3-D effects Cameron plans will be expensive, he said.

"We're going to blow you to the back wall of the theatre in a way you haven't seen for a long time," he told the Reporter.

"My goal is to rekindle those amazing mystical moments my generation felt when we first saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, or the next generation's Star Wars."

With Titanic, a film that featured breakthrough technology to show crowd scenesas the ship sinks, Cameron went over budget because of spending on special effects. The film was a huge box office success, setting a record.

Avatar is an even more sophisticated concept, butCameron says the "technology has caught up."

Since Titanic, Cameron has made two documentaries featuring 3-D, Ghosts of the Abyss and Aliens of the Deep.

Avatar is slated for commercial release in summer 2009.