James Cameron says he was asked to cut all the 'tree-hugging hippie bull**t' from Avatar
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David Cameron has revealed just how brutally he responded to a film executive who took issue to the 'tree hugging' themes in the original Avatar film.
The director recounted the conversation he had with the studio head Peter Chernin before the movie was set to be released.
Cameron told GQ that he warned the studio executive he was in danger of looking like a 'd**k' for passing on the now-record breaking film.
The legendary director claimed that Chernin read the script and liked it, but had one big issue with the movie.
"'Is there any way you can get the kind of tree-hugging hippie bulls**t out of it?' Quote, unquote," Cameron said, recounting what Chernin said.
"I said, 'So, Peter, I’m at a point now in my career and in my life where I can pretty much make any movie I want.
"And I chose to make this story because of the tree-hugging hippie bulls**t.'"
And, well, the rest is history.
As many of us are aware, Avatar went on to become the top grossing movie in history, making a whopping $2.9 billion (AUD$4.3 billion, £2.4 billion) worldwide.
Cameron added that he told the studio head: "I said, 'Now you know before your tail lights are out of sight, I will be on the phone with Dick Cook at Disney who wants this, and we’ll make a deal, and that’ll be that, and then whatever happens, happens. And you might look like a big d**k if it makes a lot of money.'"
"And you can see him kind of recoil, because that’s the moment that all studio executives absolutely are terrified by. That you pass on something. Like Casey Silver passed on Titanic at Universal, right? He looked like a d**k later," Cameron said.
He added: "Just for that one thing. Casey’s a good guy. There was that flinch. But he said, 'Nope, we’re passing.'"
Chernin, however, recalled it slightly differently: "I don’t remember the 'tree-hugging hippie bulls**t'. I may have said that. But that’s not it at all."
The studio head honcho revealed that the real issue was about Avatar's massive budget.
"And I’m not even sure we passed on it. We passed on the price, and then we went back and forth," Chernin said.
The long-awaited sequel to Cameron's 2009 hit, Avatar: The Way of Water, will premiere in cinemas next month.
Topics: Film & TV, James Cameron, Film and TV, Entertainment