James Cameron Reveals Why He Cut Some Action Scenes from Avatar 2

In a recent interview with Esquire Middle East, James Cameron revealed why he cut some scenes from Avatar: The Way of Water.

Almost ten years after the Na’vi war against humans in Pandora, the sequel finds Neytiri and Jake fighting against another RDA invasion. This time it is led by the revengeful Quartich, who has a personal vendetta against the Sully family patriarch.

James Cameron Reveals Why He Cut Some Action Scenes from Avatar 2
James Cameron

With the help of the master storyteller James Cameron and some magic in the VFX department, the Avatar sequel features the perfect juxtaposition of panoramic ocean scenes and a lot of bombastic action.

In the interview, Cameron revealed some interesting details about some action scenes not making it to the movie’s final cut, which had nothing to do with the movie’s three-hour runtime.

Cameron said he cut ten minutes’ worth of footage depicting gun violence as he didn’t want to fetishize guns due to the growing number of gun violence cases in the United States.

Read his full comments below:

I actually cut about 10 minutes of the movie targeting gunplay action. I wanted to get rid of some of the ugliness, to find a balance between light and dark. You have to have conflict, of course. Violence and action are the same thing, depending on how you look at it. This is the dilemma of every action filmmaker, and I’m known as an action filmmaker. I look back on some films that I’ve made, and I don’t know if I would want to make that film now. I don’t know if I would want to fetishize the gun, like I did on a couple of ‘Terminator’ movies 30+ years ago, in our current world. What’s happening with guns in our society turns my stomach. I’m happy to be living in New Zealand where they just banned all assault rifles two weeks after that horrific mosque shooting a couple of years ago.

James Cameron Reveals Why He Cut Some Action Scenes from Avatar 2
Avatar: The Way of Water

Cameron hasn’t shied away from depicting gun violence in the past, though.

We got our fair share of gunshots in movies like Aliens, The Terminator, True Lies, and Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Even in Avatar, there were intense gunfights between the Na’vi soldiers and the RDA using military-grade weapons.

The teaser trailer for Avatar: Way of Water was supposed to feature Jake holding a rifle, but the release day coincided with the tragic Robb Elementary School shootings. Disney edited the scene out due to public sentiments.

With so many gun-related incidents terrorizing the country, Cameron said he needs to stop fetishizing gun-related violence in his movies.

This is especially important for Avatar movies as they are primarily about family and are meant to be watched with children. Though gun-related violence may have a better place in Cameron’s R-rated films like The Terminator and Aliens, it is not the same for Avatar: The Way of Water.

This also benefitted the movie by cutting down its run time. The runtime of Avatar: The Way of Water is already 3 hours and 12 minutes, though earlier cuts were close to three and a half hours. If there is one complaint against this Cameron masterpiece, it is about the colossal runtime.

Nevertheless, the movie’s box office performance is still strong, as it has already collected more than $1 billion worldwide.

Watch Avatar: The Way of Water on:

About Avatar: The Way of Water

Avatar: The Way of Water is an upcoming American epic science fiction film directed by James Cameron and produced by 20th Century Studios. It is the second film in Cameron’s Avatar franchise, following Avatar (2009).

Cameron produces with Jon Landau. Cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, CCH Pounder, and Matt Gerald are all reprising their roles from the original film, with Sigourney Weaver returning in a different role. New cast members include Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Oona Chaplin, Vin Diesel, and CJ Jones.

Avatar 2 revolves around a universal concept of family and follows Jake Sully and Neytiri 14 years after the first film as they focus on protecting their child. However, they are forced to leave their home and explore the different regions of Pandora when an old threat returns to finish what they started. Jake has never faced a bigger challenge.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

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