Apple has just announced a special iTunes version of James Cameron's Avatar that will not only include some special extras like the film's script and a big 1,700 picture special effects gallery of pictures to browse through, but allow viewers to actually control 17 scenes as they happen, switching between different views like the finished film, rough CG cuts, and the original live action motion capture footage. Viewers will also be able to "x-ray" these scenes, moving a special view around the screen that will show off the original live action footage, superimposed over the finished movie.
Sounds pretty awesome to us. Special features have obviously been a standby of disc-based movies for years, and modern Blu Ray discs offer up split-screen and onscreen special effects information and footage for all kinds of movies. But this is something that's really interactive, and it's exclusively on iTunes (Apple doesn't say yet if the special footage will work on an iPad or an iPhone, though it seems likely, right?). That's a nice get for Apple, and it might be an indication of more features like this to come (which would make for nice viewing fodder on a possible Apple TV, wouldn't it).
You can preorder the movie on iTunes right now. The special edition version will cost you $20, while the regular edition itself is $15.