James Cameron recalls clashing with Fox Studios over keeping key Avatar scenes – "I made Titanic and it paid for your half-billion-dollar studio lot"


Filmmaker James Cameron is quite busy with the sequel of Avatar titled Avatar: The Way Of Water. In a recent chat with The New York Times, Avatar director Cameron revealed that he fought with 20th Century Fox studio executives over the original 2009 film when they tried to make the film shorter and trim the movie’s flying sequences.

“I think I felt, at the time, that we clashed over certain things,” Cameron said. “For example, the studio felt that the film should be shorter and that there was too much flying around on the ikran — what the humans call the banshees. Well, it turns out that’s what the audience loved the most, in terms of our exit polling and data gathering.”

He continued, “And that’s a place where I just drew a line in the sand and said, ‘You know what? I made ‘Titanic.’ This building that we’re meeting in right now, this new half-billion-dollar complex on your lot? ‘Titanic’ paid for that, so I get to do this.’ And afterward, they thanked me.”

“I feel that my job is to protect their investment, often against their own judgment. But as long as I protect their investment, all is forgiven.” Avatar, starring Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington, went on to gross over $2 billion worldwide and ruled at the top being the highest-grossing movies of all-time list until Avengers: Endgame took over.

“It’s such an intense process when you’re editing a film and you have to fight for every frame that stays in,” Cameron added. “I felt pretty good about the creative decisions that were made back then. We spent a lot of time and energy improving our process in the decade-plus since. But there’s certainly nothing cringe worthy. I can see tiny places where we’ve improved facial-performance work. But it doesn’t take you out. I think it’s still competitive with everything that’s out there these days.”

James Cameron is now returning with the original film again in cinemas, three months before its sequel, The Way of Water, debuts, a sequel that involves heavy innovation and use of new technology. Avatar returns to theaters on September 23 while Avatar: The Way Of Water is slated for theatrical release on December 16.

Also Read: James Cameron’s ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Scenes Screened at D23

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