James Cameron worked on an Avatar 2 script for years, then scrapped it

James Cameron worked on an script for Avatar 2 for years, before scrapping it because it didn't meet his three-point script criteria

Avatar 2 new concept art released: a still from avatar 2 trailer

James Cameron has revealed why he scrapped an early script of Avatar 2, even though it set the science fiction movie back by years.

Avatar 2, which is titled Avatar: The Way of the Water, looks set to explore Pandora’s underwater world. Teasers and concept art for the alien movie has emphasised this focus, and a lot of attention has been paid to the visual effects work that was used to create genuinely life-like water.

However, the sequel comes well over a decade after the release of the original movie, which was ground-breaking at the time for its pioneering use of visual effects. The original adventure movie became the highest-grossing movie of all time, and in addition to Avatar 2, another three sequels have already been greenlit.

Now, speaking to the The Times, the legendary director gave an insight into his writing process, and spoke about his early attempts to write a script for Avatar 2. Talking about his beliefs on what makes a movie work, he said “All films work on different levels. The first is surface, which is character, problem and resolution. The second is thematic. What is the movie trying to say? But Avatar also works on a third level, the subconscious.”

The director then went on to explain why the script writing for Avatar 2 took such a long period of time, saying “I wrote an entire script for the sequel, read it and realized that it did not get to level three. Boom. Start over. That took a year.”

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Cameron’s comments are a fascinating insight into the director’s own beliefs about what makes a great script, as well as going some way to explaining why the gap between Avatar and its sequel has been so chasmic. However, fans of the epic sci-fi flicks will hope that Cameron managed to achieve that third ‘subconscious’ level of script-writing on the next Avatar sequels a little bit more quickly.

While the wait for Avatar 2 gets shorter, why not swap genres for a moment and check out our guide to the best fantasy movies. Or, get your Pandora fix by watching Avatar on Disney Plus.