James Cameron explains how the idea of Avatar actually came to him in a dream

Emma Guinness

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James Cameron explains how the idea of Avatar actually came to him in a dream

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock/20th Century Fox

With less than a month to go until Avatar's long-awaited sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, James Cameron has revealed how he got the idea for the original film.

The director, 68, explained that it happened in exactly the same way that he got the ideas for some of his biggest flicks, including The Terminator.

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He told GQ magazine that he has had some pretty spectacular dreams, with one saw him come up with the iconic scene in Aliens where Ripley sees the Alien Queen after standing in a silent room full of eggs.

He said: "I have my own private streaming service that's better than any of that sh*t out there. And it runs every night for free."

So it only stands to reason, really, that his fantasy epic, Avatar, would have came to him in this sway too.

"I woke up after dreaming of this kind of bioluminescent forest with these trees that look kind of like fiberoptic lamps and this river that was glowing bioluminescent particles and kind of purple moss on the ground that lit up when you walked on it," Cameron revealed.

"And these kinds of lizards that didn't look like much until they took off. And then they turned into these rotating fans, kind of like living Frisbees, and they come down and land on something."

The director said that he was so inspired by the dream that he proceeded to draw what he had imagined.

The Avatar sequel is set largely under water. Credit: 20th Century Studios
The Avatar sequel is set largely under water. Credit: 20th Century Studios

"I woke up super excited and I actually drew it," Cameron said of the dream he had when he was 19. "So I actually have a drawing. It saved us from about 10 lawsuits. Any successful film, there's always some freak with tinfoil under their wig that thinks you've beamed the idea out of their head. And it turned out there were 10 or 11 of them."

One of Avatar's stars, Zoe Saldaña, 44, who played Ney'tiri in the 2009 hit film and his returning for its sequel, said that Cameron's vivid imagination has been key to creating the films.

"Without Jim’s heavy, heavy brain, this would all fall apart," the actor admitted.

While the sequel has been a long time in the making, if the trailer is anything to go by, it looks absolutely spectacular.

The film's official synopsis reads: "Jake Sully and Ney'tiri have formed a family and are doing everything to stay together. However, they must leave their home and explore the regions of Pandora. When an ancient threat resurfaces, Jake must fight a difficult war against the humans."

Avatar: The Way of Water is hitting cinemas on 16 December, and we can't wait.

Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, James Cameron

Emma Guinness
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