On Friday night (January 15), James Cameron slipped into a tuxedo and descended on the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, stepping into an unfamiliar world like "Avatar" hero Jake Sully arriving on Pandora. Much like the Sam Worthington character in one of the biggest blockbusters ever made, Cameron's mission would be a success — one that would grab him six awards. In other ways, however, it was more like a victory lap.
"Thanks to that MTV online event, you launched the picture!" he grinned when he saw the MTV News team on the red carpet, remembering our exclusive "Avatar" event in early December. "And look what happened!"
Some people would say that a billion-plus dollars at the box office would automatically green-light a sequel. "Yes, now we just have to come up with an idea," Cameron joked. "I have a 6,000-page outline. Now, if I could just reduce that to a shoot-able script."
Before he makes the sequel, however, Cameron said he might step away from Pandora for a while. "There's some possibility of doing another film in between," explained the filmmaker, who has been absent from the awards-season scene since he similarly blew through it in 1997 with "Titanic." "But we'll certainly get busy talking about what the strategy is [for an 'Avatar' sequel], whether it makes sense to do it and laying any technical groundwork that needs to be done. These are big projects."
As for recent speculation over the leaked "Avatar" script that supposedly revealed extended intimacy between the film's lead characters, Cameron said he was getting a kick out of the chatter. "We took a good 10 seconds out of that scene. So people shouldn't [get too worked up over it]," he grinned. "I think it's one of those cases where the fantasy vastly exceeds the reality."
Still, fans can look for that scene — and others — in an upcoming DVD that Cameron is compiling, but one that he stopped short of labeling with a phrase we hear all too often. "The 'director's cut' is what we release," Cameron said. "What we do is we do a special edition, where you could select a longer version of the film that has some scenes reinstated. But it's really more of a fan version than a director's version.
"[The fan version] will be 10 or 12 minutes longer," he revealed. "Something like that."
Finally, Cameron had some advice for those who suffer from the newly coined affliction "Avatar blues," supposedly resulting from exposure to a land far more beautiful than their own. "Take a walk in the woods," he said to sufferers. "Reacquaint with the nature we have right here."