James Cameron invited screenwriters from Avatar: The Way of Water into his mind to create the sequel
Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver also had to earn a “master’s degree in all things Pandora.”
Now the cat is out of the bag and many people have had a chance to watch Avatar: The Way of Waterscreenwriter couple Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Jurassic world) can finally catch up on some behind-the-scenes events. In an interview with Variety, the duo spoke about some of the decisions made while in “avatar Bootcamp” to figure out the story for the entire franchise — something that happened almost a decade ago.
In a previous interview with Collider, avatar Manufacturer Jon Landau revealed that all of the scripts for each entry in the franchise are already written and the main cast have read them. Now Jaffa and Silver explained exactly how it all happened. They revealed that when they were hired along with other screenwriters Josh Friedman (snowpiercer series) and Shane Salerno (Armageddon), JamesCameron laid down a set of ground rules so that the installments could have the same core.
Jaffa explained that understanding everything about Pandora was especially important for the team, revealing that they would need to get a “master’s degree in all things Pandora.” Jaffa also stated:
“[We] talked about everything from flora and fauna to how the RDA’s space shuttles work[…] We did a lot of research and talked a lot about it. You really have to write with character. We just kept falling back in character and emotions. As long as we had studied and were really sensitive to it, we felt like we were on solid ground. […] For Jim it was important that everything works technically and scientifically – that we understand the flora and fauna of Pandora, the atmosphere, the tides. But what always led through all of this was emotion and character.”
Pandora-pedia was a must for writers
An important part of that learning curve was diving into “Pandora-pedia,” the binders in which James Cameron jotted down about 800 pages of information and ideas, requiring the four authors to study Cameron’s mind to better understand his thought process. Jaffa explained: “We went through it with him, very slowly and carefully. We were invited into his mind, left brain and right brain, just to dive in and immerse himself in the world he created in the first film”.
Jaffa and Silver also revealed this avatar was originally going to have three sequels, not four. But the story just sort of naturally expanded. after all, Avatar: The Way of Water has the difficult task of keeping audiences abreast of 14 years of events that transpired in Pandora while we weren’t looking, as well as introducing Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiris (Zoe Saldana) children and new species of Na’vi.
Even though Avatar: The Way of Water It’s only been in theaters for a week and has already grossed over $600 million worldwide. However, the franchise’s massive price tag dictates that the sequel must have an all-time gross quite close to that of the first film. 2009 avatar is still the highest-grossing film of all time, with nearly $3 billion in ticket sales alone. The box office result of the sequel will be a thermometer for how far we can advance in the world of Pandora in the years to come.
Avatar: The Way of Water is now theatre. You can watch our interview with Landau, Worthington and Stephen Langamong: