you excited about James Cameron’s return to the world of narrative filmmaking after almost a decade doing 3D fish movies? Is Avatar a movie you’re waiting for with bated breath?

You’re going to keep waiting.

In an interview with The Independent, Cameron has confirmed that Avatar is going to take a very long time. Such a long time that he thinks it’ll be out in 2009. And somehow that feels optimistic to me.,

"I always want to find something mentally engaging,” he told the Independent. “I’ll spend many months completing the special effects on Avatar, and it will not be released until the summer of 2009. It’s quite a challenge – and for that reason, I embrace it."

The effects are in service to a very, very big vision, he says. "The film requires me to create an entirely new alien culture and language, and for that I want ‘photo-real’ CGI characters. Sophisticated enough ‘performance-capture’ animation technology is only coming on stream now. I’ve spent the last 14 months doing performance-capture work – the actor performs the character and then we animate it.

"We’ve set up a studio, and last week [Lord of the Rings director] Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg were here trying out the technology. I said to them, ‘Take my tools and play with them for a week.’ They were grinning from ear to ear. It’s a really exciting time because so many new things are now possible."

"Avatar is a very ambitious sci-fi movie… It’s a futuristic tale set on a planet 200 years hence. It’s an old-fashioned jungle adventure with an environmental conscience. It aspires to a mythic level of storytelling."

In other words, Apocalypto in space!

Cameron has more to talk about at the Independent, including his involvement in a documentary that is going to change the way we look at the Exodus – yes, the story from the Bible. Click here to read it all.