James Cameron Reveals Conflict With Studio Over First ‘Avatar’ Movie

There is no denying that James Cameron is a master of cinema. It wouldn’t even be unreasonable to suggest that he, sometimes, gives even Steven Spielberg a run for his money. After all, the director has several box office giants under his belt.

Long before Avatar (2009) became the highest grossing film in history, James Cameron made waves with Titanic (1997), the big screen adaptation of the real-life 1912 maritime disaster, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio as equally star-crossed lovers aboard the New York-bound ocean liner.

jack saving rose from jumping overboard on titanic
Credit: 20th Century Studios/Paramount Pictures

Related: Everything You Need To Know About ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’

and even before Titanic went to the top of the box office, having grossed over $1.84 billion worldwide, Cameron gave us aliens (1986), the sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic, and then Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), yet another sequel that is generally considered superior to its predecessor.

Needless to say, he is one of the most successful film directors of all time, and this year’s long-awaited film is likely Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) will be another historical box office beast for Cameron. But not everything has been easy for the director.

Zoe Saldana as Neytiri (left) and Sam Worthington as Jake Sully (right) in 'Avatar'
Credit: 20th Century Studies

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In a recent interview with The New York Times, the Avatar The director recalled a dispute with 20th Century Fox regarding the original 2009 film, with the plot centered around its long running time and a number of scenes involving flight sequences.

According to Cameron, Avatar impressed viewers during test screenings, but that at the same time 20th Century Fox wanted to reduce the film’s 2 hour 41 running time. But as Cameron reveals, he wasn’t happy with the studio’s demands and had to remind them of his previous successes.

Avatar
Credit: 20th Century Studies

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This is what Cameron had to say:

“I think I felt, at the time, that we clashed over certain things. For example, the studio felt that the film should be shorter and that there were too many things flying in the ikran, what humans call the banshees. Well, it turns out that’s what the audience liked best, in terms of exit polls and data collection. And that’s a place where I drew a line in the sand and said, ‘You know what? I did Titanic. This building we’re meeting in right now, this new $500 million complex on your lot? Titanic paid for it, so I can do this.’”

Needless to say, Cameron was well within her rights to stand her ground. Evidently, Avatar it had long been a passion project for the director, and the same can be said for the franchise as a whole, as he has since committed to four more films in the series.

In fact, he has created such a rich world on Pandora that we can only live in the hope that he will one day lead a Star Wars and show the distant galaxy in ways never seen before!

Sam Worthington as Jake Sully (left) and Zoe Saldana as Neytiri (right) in 'Avatar'
Credit: 20th Century Studies

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Avatar has also come to life at Walt Disney World Resort in the form of the themed land Pandora: The World of Avatarwhich includes experiences like Na’vi River Journey and Avatar: Flight of Passage, the latter inspired by the film’s flight sequences.

Fans of the franchise will also soon have the opportunity to explore Pandora in an even more virtual setting than the Disney World attractions, as a first-person open-world adventure game titled Avatar: Pandora’s Frontiers (TBA) is expected to hit shelves sometime next year.

Watch the official trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water down:

Related: The ‘Clone Wars’ Story Arc That Needs To Be Made Into An ‘Avatar 2’-Style Movie

Returning from the original 2009 film are Sam Worthington (Jake Sully), Zoe Saldana (Neytiri), CCH Pounder (Mo’at), Giovanni Ribisi (Parker Selfridge), Joel David Moore (Dr. Norm Spellman), Dileep Rao (Dr. Max Patel) and Matt Gerald (Corporal Lyle Wainfleet).

Two other actors who will also return are Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang, who play Dr. Grace Augustine and Colonel Miles Quaritch in Avatar, respectively. However, this time around, Weaver will appear as Jake and Neytiri’s teenage Na’vi daughter, while Lang will play a Na’vi version of her previous character.

avatar 2 the path of water
Credit: 20th Century Studios via YouTube

Related: ‘Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora’: Everything You Need to Know

Newcomers to the Na’vi are Cliff Curtis (Tonowari), Jamie Flatters (Neteyam), Jeremy Irwin (Young Neteyam), Britain Dalton (Lo’ak), Chloe Coleman (Young Lo’ak), Trinity Bliss (Tuktirey) , Bailey Bass (Tsireya), Filip Geljo (Aonung), Duane Evans Jr. (Rotxo) and Kate Winslet (Ronal).

New human cast members are Jack Champion (Javier “Spider” Socorro), Edie Falco (General Ardmore), Michelle Yeoh (Dr. Karina Mogue), Brendan Cowell (Captain Mick Scoresby), Jemaine Clement (Dr. Ian Garvin), Oona Chaplin. (Varang), and Vin Diesel and CJ Jones in undisclosed roles.

avatar 2 the path of water
Credit: 20th Century Studios via YouTube

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According to the description of 20th Century Studios, here is the synopsis of Avatar: The Way of Water:

Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water begins to tell the story of the Sully family, the troubles that haunt them, the efforts they make to keep themselves safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.

Avatar: The Way of Water It will be theatrically released on December 16, 2022, in Dolby Cinema, IMAX and IMAX 3D. Avatar 3, 4 Y 5 will be released on December 20, 2024, December 18, 2026, and December 22, 2028, respectively. The original Avatar will be re-released in theaters on September 23.

Are you a fan of James Cameron movies? and you believe Avatar is too long? Let us know in the comments below!

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