James Cameron Details Clashes With Studio Over Original ‘Avatar’: “I Just Drew A Line In The Sand”

c-title pmc-u-font-size-20 pmc-u-font-size-38@tablet pmc-u-font-size-46@desktop-xl u-text-align-center@mobile-max u-letter-spacing-0025 pmc-u-line-height-normal u-line-height-45@tablet pmc-u-padding-t-1 pmc-u-padding-t-050@mobile-max”>James Cameron Details Clashes With Studio Over Original ‘Avatar’: “I Just Drew A Line In The Sand”

By Tom Tapp

Tom Tapp

Deputy Managing Editor

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September 19, 2022 1:10pm

Sigourney Weaver, Joel Moore, director James Cameron and Sam Worthington on the ‘Avatar’ set
Everett Collection

James Cameron told The New York Times this weekend that his first trip to Pandora was not entirely edenic.

Specifically, the director detailed his fight with Fox brass over two key elements of 2009’s Avatar.

“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,” he said.

Cameron, of course, stuck to his guns.

“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.”

That doesn’t mean Cameron didn’t think about the box office; he just didn’t let it keep him from making the movie he wanted to make.

“There’s a sense of responsibility to do the best job we can and make it a moneymaker,” he said. “But I don’t how that translates artistically to any decision I make on the movie. I don’t say, ‘Hmmm, let’s put that plant over there because we’ll make more money.’ It doesn’t work that way. When it’s good enough, you kind of know.”

Audiences agreed. Avatar went on to gross $2.8 billion worldwide and is among the top-grossing films of all time.

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