Now I’m going to say right here that Avatar didn’t impress me much. Sure, there were some stunning visuals, but people still looked like cardboard cut-outs to me and most of the film’s ideas were stolen from loads of other films. Even now, he seems to talk mainly about high-speed frame rates and other technical stuff. However, he is beavering away on his scripts for the next two films, and Empire managed to get a few words from him:
“I can tell you one thing about them [the sequels]. They’re gonna be bitchin’. You will shit yourself with your mouth wide open.”
Cameron has divided the two scripts across a writing team that includes Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Josh Friedman and Shane Salerno.
“I think we met for seven months and we whiteboarded out every scene in every film together, and I didn’t assign each writer which film they were going to work on until the last day. I knew if I assigned them their scripts ahead of time, they’d tune out every time we were talking about the other movie”.
Despite early rumours of a move to 60 frames per second, 48 is Cameron’s choice of frame rate for the sequels.
“My thinking at the time was that 60 [FPS] might be a better segue to the video market,” he says. “I’ll be plugging into a system that’s a little more mature, so it makes sense for me to do 48 frames at this point.”
As part of January’s Peter Jackson-edited issue of Empire, Cameron also chatted about his burgeoning relationship with Jackson and revealed that Jackson, or one of his co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens may have been responsible for one significant line in Avatar
“When Neytiri is holding Jake and she’s just brought him back to consciousness, the ‘I see you’ line was suggested by them. It might have been Peter who said that.”