Home » James Cameron talks about the ‘tension’ surrounding the new ‘Avatar’ movie.

James Cameron talks about the ‘tension’ surrounding the new ‘Avatar’ movie.

by Stewart Cole

James Cameron opens for the highly anticipated 3 hour run “Avatar: The Way of Water” which hit theaters on Friday. said the director Entertainment Weekly that he felt “morally obligated” not to change the length of the film when Disney acquired 21st Century Fox, the studio where the film premiered.

“Avatar: The Way of the Water” is its sequel 2009’s “Avatar” it is still the highest-grossing film of all time with $2.9 billion. The it reached 162 minutes, or almost 2 hours and 40 minutes. Cameron cited technical limitations and storytelling challenges as reasons for the long gap between films. But keeping the second film’s originally intended length was something he felt strongly about.

“I think there was a lot of tension around the length,” Cameron told EW. “And because it’s a complex linear narrative, which is the worst case scenario to try to shortcut, you have a complex story that serves multiple characters and it’s like dominoes falling: This has to happen for that to happen. You’re not following a bunch of parallel plot lines in a way that you could get a lot out of.”

Cameron said it was like solving a puzzle to decide what to take out and what to leave in.

“The hardest thing when you’re trying to shorten a movie is to keep the things that don’t advance the plot, that are beautiful or scary or suspenseful for their own sake,” he said. “Things went out, and then if I felt like the pace was off, we’d put things back in.”

Cameron and his team have been working on the “Avatar” sequel for over a decade. It was originally slated for 2014, but was delayed as Cameron waited for technology to catch up to his vision of how to capture underwater scenes on film.

“Avatar 2” was originally pitched to 21st Century Fox, but when the studio was acquired by Disney in 2019, Cameron said he felt “morally obligated” not to change the length of his vision.

“Just as important as length is pace — and the sequence of information and the engagement factor,” he said. “As long as people are engaged, you’re good to go.”

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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