With the second film in James Cameron's Avatar series ready to premiere in December, it is time to look back at what a breathtaking achievement his 2009 masterpiece was. The film was arguably way ahead of its time, and despite the often mixed reception, Avatar remains one of the most-watched and most-debated films of all time, crafting a visual splendor that is beyond comprehensible for most.
Cameroon has long been known as a director who is both visionary and very difficult. His creative mind could go to any length to carve the perfect blockbuster, from building massive custom tanks for his underrated classic Abyss to threatening to fire A-list actors for taking bathroom breaks.
Five behind-the-scenes facts about the iconic Avatar
1) Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, and especially Gollum, was one of the major reasons behind Cameron's venture into the project
Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy was one of the most iconic sets of films of its time. When Cameron witnessed the technical wizardry of the technical team, especially the computer imaging of Gollum, the veteran director moved ahead to fulfill his dream project.
In an interview with EW, Cameron stated:
"Looking at what Peter Jackson was able to do with Gollum, and then King Kong. And Davy Jones [from Pirates of the Caribbean] — all these examples of compelling photo-realistic, fully CG characters, in a photo-realistic world. I don’t think many people are aware that a lot of the jungle scenes in King Kong were actually CG. They did a lot with miniatures, but toward the end they were doing a lot of the jungles in CG."
2) Avatar's food menu was completely plant-based
Aside from the debate as to whether the film and the director, in particular, managed to get the message across, Avatar was based on the corruption of natural resources. Cameron is a strong believer in the vegan diet and enforced the same on the film's set, which served the actors only plant-based food.
3) Cameroon nailed any phone that went off during the shoot to the wall
Cameron is famously known for his temper on the set. According to sources, Cameron nailed mobile phones to the wall if they went off during filming. It seemed like a wild rumor until star Sam Worthington confirmed it in an interview.
4) Paul Frommer created a whole new language for Avatar
Linguist Paul Frommer was tasked with creating a new language for the film and its vibrant atmosphere. Frommer allegedly started creating the language from scratch and tried to make it one that would resonate with fans as well as capture the essence of Na'vi.
5) The look of the Na'vi was reportedly inspired by a dream Cameron's mom had
The Na'vi have an exquisite look that is unlike anything seen before. The look was reportedly inspired by a dream that James Cameron's mother had. Dreams and cinema have long been linked due to the mystical nature of the visual medium. Cameron confirmed this in an interview, saying that in his mother's dream, she saw "a twelve-foot-tall blue woman." This inspired Cameron to create the Na'vi's look.
Avatar: The Way of Water will premiere globally on December 16, 2022.