James Cameron had harsh words for one film executive who criticized the problematic length of his 2009 picture “Avatar.”
The 68-year-old Oscar-winning director remembered a chat with a Fox official who “begged” him to reduce the length of the 162-minute epic.
Cameron told GQ before to the release of the highly anticipated sequel “Avatar: The Way of Water” that he told his manager to “get the f— out of my office” when he was urged to reduce the length of his record-breaking picture.
Cameron stated that the anonymous executive approached him after an early viewing of the film with a “devastated cancer diagnosis look.”
Left to right, the “Avatar: The Way of Water” cast. Jon Landau, Jamie Flatters, Jack Champion, Trinity Bliss, Bailey Bass, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, Sam Worthington, and Zoe Saldana.
Getty Photographs for Disney
Cameron recalls telling the executive something he had never uttered to anybody else in the industry: “‘I think this movie is going to make all the f—ing money. When it does, it will be too late for you to enjoy the movie. Now is the moment for you to appreciate the film.’”
He continued, “‘So I’m not asking you to say something you don’t feel, but just know that I will always know that regardless of how complimentary you are about the film in the future when it makes all the money’—and that’s exactly what I said, in capital letters, ALL THE MONEY, not some of the money, all the f—ing money. I stated, “You cannot commend the film or bring a friend and say, “Look what we created together.” You will not be able to accomplish it.”
“At that moment, that specific studio executive lost his cool and gave me the bird. And I instructed him to leave my office immediately. “And it was left there,” Cameron continued.
According to Box Office Mojo, the picture ultimately shattered many records with its $77,025,482 domestic opening weekend gross. It ultimately earned $3 billion globally.
Character A scene from the 2009 film “Avatar” depicts Neytiri, portrayed by Zoe Saldana.
He acknowledged that the picture was “extremely f—ing” costly to produce, and he has called it the “worst business case in cinema history.”
Regarding the picture’s potential profitability, he told the outlet, “You have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history. That is your limit. That is your break-even point.
The projected budget for the four sequels to the franchise is around $1 billion. It hits theaters on December 16, thirteen years after the 2009 release of the original.