Director James Cameron revealed that he and studio executives “had clashes over certain things” over “Avatar” during the creation of the 2009 blockbuster.
Cameron, whose epic adventure film is the highest-grossing film of all time, told The New York Times on Friday that the creative process behind the film was not without its struggles.
Cameron — who didn’t name the studio — said studio executives thought the epic film should be “shorter” and that characters were flying around on banshee creatures too much.
“Well, it turns out that’s what the public liked the most, in terms of our exit polls and data collection,” Cameron recalled.
“And that’s a place where I just drew a line in the sand and said, ‘You know what? I made ‘Titanic’. This building where we meet now, this new half-billion dollar complex on your lot? “Titanic” paid for that, so I get to do this.'”
The director, who told The Times that “Avatar” is “still competitive with everything out there today,” claimed the studio later thanked him for his restraint.
“I feel my job is to protect their investments, often against their own judgment,” Cameron said. “But as long as I protect their investment, all is forgiven.”
Cameron’s reflections on the blockbuster hit came about three months before the scheduled release of the sequel – “Avatar: The Way of Water” – on December 16.
The sequel comes 13 years after the original movie, a wait that Cameron said got him a little worried before December.
“I was a little concerned that I had stretched the chain too far, in our fast-paced, modern world… [right] until we dropped the teaser trailer and we had 148 million views in 24 hours,” Cameron told The Times.
“It’s been scarcely seen but amazed basically, that’s, wow, we haven’t seen that in a long time, but I remember how cool it was back then. Does that work in our favor? I don’t know. I think we’re going to find out.”