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The New, Improved James Cameron Wants to Reintroduce You to ‘Avatar’

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The pop culture landscape in 2009 looked quite different. “TiK ToK” refers to Kesha’s hits. And the Marvel Cinematic Universe consisted only of his two films released the previous year.

Instead, the multiplex was going to be dominated by James Cameron’s sci-fi epic Avatar. It’s about a battle for natural resources between human settlers from Earth and the Na’vi, an indigenous tribe of a distant moon called Pandora. ‘Avatar’ became one of his most successful films of all time, $2.8 billion worldwide and won three Academy Awards.

Cameron, the multi-award-winning filmmaker of ‘Titanic,’ ‘True Lies,’ and ‘Terminator,’ has set off to prepare the next entry in his new franchise. We are in the process of putting the finishing touches on the first of four sequels. “Avatar: Path of Water” (This is due out by 20th Century Studios on December 16th.) It’s been almost 13 years and a lot has changed.

To reintroduce audiences to Avatar and the 3D filmmaking that captivated audiences in 2009, the first film will re-release in theaters on September 23rd. Not only for the imminent follow-up, but also as a reminder of what was special about the original.

As Cameron said of ‘Avatar’ in a video interview on Thursday, ‘We created it for the big screen experience. If you’re doing flying shots or underwater shots on beautiful reefs, hold the shots a little longer.

Calling from his studio in Wellington, New Zealand, the 68-year-old Cameron wanted to take a new look at ‘Avatar’, how the world has or hasn’t changed since its release, and how this 1 We talked about whether it was a one-off or not. king of the world Maybe — maybe — chilled a little. These are edited excerpts from our conversation.

Have you seen the original “Avatar” recently? What was that experience like?

It was a real treat to see it fully remastered with my kids who had only seen it on streaming and Blu-ray a few weeks ago. “Oh yeah, that’s that movie my dad made back then.” And they were like, ‘Oh. Even though they think they may have seen the movie, they haven’t, and not just how well it’s held up, but how gorgeous it is in its remastered state. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised.

See the details you want to change?

I do not think so. When you’re editing a movie, it’s a very intense process and you have to fight for every frame that’s left. Since then, we have spent a lot of time and energy improving the process over the last ten years. But certainly nothing terrible. You can see a small spot where the facial performance work has improved. I think it’s still competitive with everything that’s out there these days.

With everything you’ve accomplished before making Avatar, were there still elements you had to fight with the studio to keep it going?

I think at the time we felt we were at odds on certain things. For example, the studio felt the film should have been shorter, so Ikran — what humans call banshees. It was what viewers liked best in terms of exit polls and data collection. And that’s where I drew the line in the sand and said. I made “Titanic”. This building we’re meeting now, this new $500 million complex on your land? “Titanic” I can do this because I paid for it. And after that they thanked me. I feel my job is to protect their investments, often against their own judgment.

How do you think the film industry has changed in the years since its release?

The downside is clear. The world is now easily accessible at home. This has a lot to do with the rise of streaming in general and the pandemic where people have literally had to risk their lives to get to the cinema. people crave it. It’s still down about 20% from pre-pandemic levels, but is slowly recovering. This is partly due to the lack of top titles that people want to see in theaters. But “Avatar” is a masterpiece. This is the type of movie that must be seen in theaters.

Does knowing your audience want a blockbuster experience put more pressure on you?

I’ve always had success with that scenario. The danger was that there were so many big movies coming out all the time, and we were always fighting for places. is. The same strategy worked for ‘Avatar’ as well. And of course, it will be on the same schedule as ‘The Way of Water’. However, there aren’t that many big events right now, so there’s not much of a push.

We have a responsibility to do the best work we can and make money from it. But I don’t know how that translates artistically into the decisions I make on film. I wouldn’t say, well, let’s put that plant over there because it’s more profitable. it doesn’t work like that. You kinda know when it’s good enough.

“Avatar” had a prominent message about caring for the environment and the resources it provides. Years after its release, do you think the message is still being taken to heart?

I don’t feel guilty because my film didn’t save the world. I wasn’t the only one speaking out then, and I’m not the only one telling people that they need to change. But people don’t want to change. We love burning energy. We love to eat meat and dairy. Asking people to radically change their behavior patterns is like asking them to change their religion. We are witnessing its effects become more and more visible, like heat waves in China, North America and Europe, and horrific floods in Pakistan. And eventually we will either change or die. “Avatar” isn’t trying to tell you exactly what to do. That’s not telling you, vote so-so, buy a Prius, put down a cheeseburger. It’s just a reminder of what we’re missing. And it reconnects us with the childlike wonder of the natural world.As long as its beauty resonates with us, there is hope.

Are you worried about audiences losing connection with the story and characters between the original and the sequel?

I think people weren’t into the characters or the direction the movie was going in, which allowed them to make a sequel and blow it up two years later. Seven years after the first movie, he made a sequel called Aliens. It was very well received. Seven years after the first movie, we made a sequel called “Terminator 2.” It made orders of magnitude more money than the first film. In the fast-paced modern world with “Avatar 2” coming 12 years after him, I was a little worried that I stretched the tether too much. Until just before the trailer was released, 148 million views in 24 hoursRarely seen, but in principle I was wondering. It was like, wow, haven’t seen it in a long time, but I remember how great it was back then. Will it work in our favor? Do not know. I think we’re trying to find

Back in the original ‘Avatar’ era, we found out you have A baseball cap with the letters “HMFIC” (Boasting personal description if not family friendly). Did that help you in making Water Path?

Wear that hat on the first day of a new shoot, or a t-shirt that says, “Time is meaningless in the face of creativity.” Just shake the studio up a bit.I do not think so [wore] New “Avatar” HMFIC hat. I am kinder and gentler. This is a mellow, zen nice guy, sensitive to everyone’s needs and emotional demands. There are no microaggressions here. This is usually good for his first two weeks or so.

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