'Avatar' has new player with Ribisi

By Leslie Simmons
Giovanni Ribisi is landing on a new planet.

The actor has signed on to James Cameron's 3-D feature "Avatar," playing a passive-aggressive character named Selfridge in the Fox film about a band of humans pitted against a distant planet's indigenous inhabitants.

He joins a cast that includes Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez.

The $190 million "Avatar" is set for release May 22, 2009, and features a blend of live-action photography and new virtual photorealistic production techniques invented by Cameron's team. The film is in production in Los Angeles and next month starts production in New Zealand at Weta Digital.

Cameron is writing and directing as well as producing with Jon Landau and Lightstorm Entertainment.

Emma Watts is overseeing for the studio.

The film marks Cameron's first dramatic feature since the Oscar-winning blockbuster "Titanic" in 1997.

Ribisi ("Lost in Translation") is repped by CAA, Management 360 and attorney Stewart Brookman of Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren & Richman.

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