Ahead of the highly anticipated “Avatar” sequel, James Cameron recalled the time when he had a heated conversation while making the 2009 blockbuster original.
In an interview with GQ published Monday, the Academy Award-winning director revealed that he once told a Fox executive to “get the fuck out of my office” during a debate over the runtime of the science-fiction film.
“Avatar,” which introduced audiences to the world of Pandora using groundbreaking visual effects, runs for 2 hours and 42 minutes.
The Fox executive, who Cameron said “will go unnamed, because this is a really negative review,” approached the filmmaker with a “stricken cancer-diagnosis expression” after noting the film’s length at an early screening.
“I said something I’ve never said to anybody else in the business,” Cameron said, before adding that he told the executive: “I think this movie is going to make all the fucking money. And when it does, it’s going to be too late for you to love the film. The time for you to love the movie is today.”
″‘So I’m not asking you to say something that you don’t feel,‘” he said he told the exec, “but just know that I will always know that no matter how complimentary you are about the movie in the future when it makes all the money’ — and that’s exactly what I said, in caps, ALL THE MONEY, not some of the money, all the fucking money. I said, ‘You can’t come back to me and compliment the film or chum along and say, “Look what we did together.” You won’t be able to do that.’”
Cameron added, “At that point, that particular studio executive flipped out and went bug shit on me. And I told him to get the fuck out of my office. And that’s where it was left.”
The 68-year-old’s hunch about the project ultimately led to the beloved movie breaking multiple records with its massive domestic opening weekend, including becoming the highest-grossing movie of all-time.
The long-awaited sequel, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” is set to run approximately 3 hours and 10 minutes, or about half an hour longer than the original “Avatar” in 2009.
Cameron told Total Film earlier this month that the sequel runs longer due to an increased focus on “relationship and emotion” compared with the first movie.
However, the filmmaker said he doesn’t want to hear any “whining” about it.
During an interview with Empire in July, Cameron seemingly got ahead of the backlash for the upcoming sequel, warning moviegoers about how long it runs. He added that he doesn’t want to hear “anybody whining about length when they sit and binge-watch [television] for eight hours.”
“It’s like, give me a fucking break. I’ve watched my kids sit and do five one-hour episodes in a row. Here’s the big social paradigm shift that has to happen: It’s okay to get up and go pee,” Cameron added.
“Avatar: The Way of Water” is expected to hit theaters Dec. 16.