‘I made Titanic’: James Cameron recalls brutal clash with studio over Avatar sequel

James Cameron admitted he clashed with the studio (Picture: Rex / Disney / 20th Century Studios)

James Cameron has recalled a clash with studio executives over his new Avatar sequel, which saw him declare: ‘I made Titanic’.

The director admitted he rejected 20th Century Fox’s notes when the studio tried to battle him on a key sequence in Avatar: The Way of Water, set for release this December.

He told the New York Times: ‘I think I felt, at the time, that we clashed over certain things.

‘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.

‘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.”‘

He later added that the studio ‘thanked’ him for the decision.

It’s well over a decade since the first Avatar hit screens, with one planned almost every year now until 2028.

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According to the Hollywood Reporter, director James told the crowd at Las Vegas CinemaCon – the first to see the trailer – that he ‘set out to test the limits of what cinema can do’ with the new film, with each audience member given 3D glasses to watch the new footage.

Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang will return as their original characters, and there are some high-profile newcomers attached to the project, including Vin Diesel and even Titanic star Kate Winslet.

Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio and James Cameron after he won the best director Oscar for Titanic (Picture: HAL GARB/AFP via Getty Images)

Avatar, starring Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington, was released in 2009 and became the highest-grossing film of all time before being overtaken by Avengers: Endgame. It has since reclaimed the top spot.

Now, it’s returning to cinemas three months before its sequel, The Way of Water, is released.

It’s time to return to Pandora. pic.twitter.com/sbnIfe68Sb

— James Cameron (@JimCameron) September 19, 2022

James announced the news in a video, saying: ‘Hi everyone, I’m Jim Cameron. Ever since I was a kid going to the movies, there was nothing like the cinema experience.

‘When we made Avatar, we set out to push the limits of that experience. Now the movie has been re-mastered in stunning 4K, high dynamic range and 9.1 sound, and it’s returning to theatres on September 23rd for a limited time.

‘See Avatar the way it was meant to be seen – on the big screen.’

Avatar: The Way of Water is set for release on December 16, 2022.

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