Avatar: The Way of the Water Writer Rick Jaffa spoke about his experience working with James Cameron in the Writer’s Room.
By appearing on the Really? Not really? podcast, Jaffa revealed what it was like to write Avatar: The Way of the Water alongside Cameron. Jaffa, who wrote the film with his wife, Amanda Silver, and fellow writers Josh Friedman and Shane Salerno, admitted they were all “a bit nervous and intimidated” by Cameron entering the process. “But the thing about Jim, when it comes to the writer’s room, is you have to remember that he’s also a writer,” Jaffa said. “I mean, you think of him as a director or just a tech genius and this larger-than-life character. But in a writer’s room, he’s just one of the writers. One of the guys, so to speak .”
Since the central plot of the long-awaited sequel revolves around a family, Jaffa said Cameron wanted them all to feel comfortable, because bringing this story to life would require the writers to get personal. “When we walked into the room, you had to be open and tell a lot of personal stories, and open up not only to our children but, my relationship with my brother, you know who had died a year before we did. let’s go into the room,” he said.
James Cameron created a safe writer’s room
While Jaffa said Cameron created a safe space to open up in the writer’s bedroom, he isn’t ignoring the behind-the-scenes stories of the director being difficult work with. “We have never seen any of these types of behavior [issues]. I’m sure they’re true, by the way. I’m sure they are, but we were lucky we never saw him.” Jaffa admitted that he and Cameron occasionally argued over plot points, during which the other writers persuaded them to withdraw.
In view of the release of The way of the water, Cameron admitted that he could be quite intense at times when writing the film. At some point, very early in the process, he threatened to fire writers for coming up with new ideas, saying he wanted to understand why the first film was a success before focusing on the future. “We have to understand what the connection was and protect it, protect that ember and that flame,” the director said. Apart from The way of the waterJaffa and the rest of the writing team set out to write three more Avatar sequels.
The way of the water is enjoying a record box office upon release and is currently the third highest-grossing film in history at the time of writing, just behind the original 2009 Avatar and 2019 Avengers: Endgame. Although a technological feat, Cameron dismissed claims that the sequel’s critical and commercial success was tied to its use of revolutionary visual effects. “The movie succeeds, not on the basis of its technology,” Cameron said. “In fact, I kind of forbade even talking about the behind-the-scenes tech in the movie, because I think people care about the characters.”
Avatar: The Way of the Water is now available on digital platforms.
Source: Really? Not really? podcast, via The Direct