“Like Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings”: James Cameron’s incredible ambition for Avatar

While recently talking with Robert Rodriguez about his film “Avatar: The Way of the Water”, James Cameron notably mentioned the ambition he had for his saga: to create a universe comparable to that of Tolkien or George Lucas.

In theaters since Wednesday, December 14, Avatar: the way of the water (released 13 years after the first opus in 2009) is only the second opus of a saga which should eventually bring together 5 feature films.

While the last three installments of the franchise are already expected for December 2024, 2026 and 2028, James Cameron recently spoke about how he saw his universe under construction. In discussion with Robert Rodriguez at the microphone of Variety, the Canadian filmmaker did not hide his ambition to offer spectators a world comparable to that of JRR Tolkien or that of George Lucas.

“There are these epic landscapes, and this epic story too”did he declare. “I tried to make a universe like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. A world that endures, that people can visit and enjoy over time.”

Cameron’s objective, from Avatar: the way of the water, was therefore to extend his universe, in particular by multiplying the points of view and the paths of the characters, where the first opus was told to us almost exclusively. through the eyes of Jake Sully. To do this, the filmmaker had to sculpt a real mythology.

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“If you look at The Rings of Power, for example, with its multiple storylines and interesting characters, that’s what I aspired to. But they had a guide. Not me. I had to write my own ‘Silmarillion’ or my own ‘Lord of the Rings’ in note form. But it wasn’t something I wanted to do alone. I knew I was going to do multiple films, so I created a small screenwriters, as we would have done for a series.”

As for the gigantic Star Wars universe, even if James Cameron seems to want to claim it in terms of scope and ambition, he also recalled a fundamental difference between his planet Pandora and the distant galaxy of Lucas:

“If you look at the way George Lucas did it in the universe that he created, which is mind-boggling, he chose to make every biome, every culture, have their own planet within the galaxy”explained the director, still on Variety.

“I thought to myself that this is not how the Earth works. On Earth, there is the Arctic, the Antarctic, the rain forest, the desert and the mountains. Completely different environments.”

“And doing my research on indigenous cultures, I could see a real explosion of ideas, of clothes, of different beliefs. I thought to myself that I could put on as many films as I wanted just on Pandora, simply exploring different places.”

It is therefore a safe bet that the universe sketched out in the first two parts of the Avatar saga is still far from having revealed its full potential to us. After revealing the forests and oceans of Pandora to us, James Cameron no doubt has many other surprises in store for us.

(Re)discover our interview with the director…

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