Avatar Director James Cameron didn’t come up with the script of the movie in a day. It turns out that at least an entire year of the 13-year gap between 2009’s Avatar and 2022’s The Way of Water was spent on a screenplay that will never see the light of day. The director of the film in his recent interview revealed that he threw out Avatar 2 script after a year of writing – because he wasn’t happy with it.
According to The Times UK, James Cameron revealed that before Avatar: The Way of Water there was a full Avatar 2 screenplay that was written and then thrown into the trash.
“When I sat down with my writers to start ‘Avatar 2,’ I said we cannot do the next one until we understand why the first one did so well. We must crack the code of what the hell happened,” Cameron said.
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Cameron and his team came to the following conclusion: “All films work on different levels. The first is surface, which is character, problem and resolution. The second is thematic. What is the movie trying to say? But ‘Avatar’ also works on a third level, the subconscious. I wrote an entire script for the sequel, read it and realized that it did not get to level three. Boom. Start over. That took a year.”
Last year, during an appearance on The Marianne Williamson Podcast, Cameron elaborated more on this third level that he believes allowed Avatar to become the highest-grossing movie of all time at the worldwide box office.
“There was a tertiary level as well…it was a dreamlike sense of a yearning to be there, to be in that space, to be in a place that is safe and where you wanted to be. Whether that was flying, that sense of freedom and exhilaration, or whether it’s being in the forest where you can smell the earth. It was a sensory thing that communicated on such a deep level. That was the spirituality of the first film,” said Cameron.
He added, “When I sat down to write the sequels, I knew there were going to be three at the time and eventually it turned into four, I put together a group of writers and said, ‘I don’t want to hear anybody’s new ideas or anyone’s pitches until we have spent some time figuring out what worked on the first film, what connected, and why it worked. They kept wanting to talk about the new stories. I said, ‘We aren’t doing that yet.’ Eventually I had to threaten to fire them all because they were doing what writers do, which is to try and create new stories. I said, ‘We need to understand what the connection was and protect it, protect that ember and that flame.’”