“I said, ‘Do your homework, and then we’ll talk,'” Cameron recalled.
James Cameron gave a lot of homework to the creators of “Avatar: The Way of Water.”
Director Cameron, who tapped into his own parenting style for the family-friendly film, admitted he spent a year trying to “decipher” what made 2009’s “Avatar” the history-making blockbuster. After the initial sequel script was scrapped, Cameron recruited a group of co-writers to tap into The Spirit of Pandora.
“Starting with development, I thought this time I wanted to work with a team of writers. We’re doing multiple scripts,” Cameron told ScreenRant. correct. But I had to have a starting point.”
The credited screenwriters for the film, besides Cameron, are Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. Jaffa, Silver, Cameron, Josh Friedman, and Shane Salerno all have story credits.
Cameron continued, “I went off and took a bunch of notes for six months. Literally every day sitting at my desk, talking about the world, the characters, trying to fill in what happened the day after Jake woke up in a Na’vi body, and he was just moving the story forward.” I knew I had certain goals in mind.”
And sometimes those goals didn’t align with what the writers room came up with: “I went in on day one with the whole writers room, pulled out 800 pages of notes, equidistant. I said, ‘Do your homework, then we’ll talk,'” Cameron recalls. “Then we got together.” together, and the first thing I challenged them to was, ‘Before we start talking about the new stories, let’s figure out how the first story works. What were people getting into, what was working for them? We had a lot of discussions about that, and every idea we came up with. to it as we progressed it should have been measured against that standard.”
Cameron shared the requirements for any “Avatar” script in the franchise.
“It had to hit the heart, it had to hit the mind, it had to hit the imagination, and it had to hit something deeper, which we had a hard time pinpointing,” said the Oscar-winning “Titanic” winner. “Something you could call spiritual, or you could call it subconscious. A kind of connection you can’t even put into words. And I said, ‘If we can’t do it again, we’re going to fail.'”
Cameron previously said during “The Marianne Williamson Podcast” in 2021 that the missing ingredient was a “dream-like” quality.
“There were no ‘meanings’ to her, it was a dreamlike feeling of longing to be there, to be in that place, to be somewhere safe and where she wanted to be. Whether it was flying, that feeling of freedom and joy, or whatever If it was in the woods where you could smell the earth. It was something sensual, communicating on such a deep level. Cameron said at the time.
He added that a lot of the plot ideas for the upcoming third, fourth, and fifth installments of “Avatar” were shelved because they did not capture the same level of third-rate magic. “We created and rejected many of the storylines for the second and third films because they didn’t take us to that conveyed dreaming-with-your-eyes-wide-open-feeling,” said Cameron.
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