by Michael dEstries
Categories: Film/TV.


In a new interview with MTV, director James Cameron offers a bit of interesting backstory to Avatar’s green message — and how he used it to inspire people to make a different on this planet. Here are some highlights:

On FOX Studio Execs reading the script and reacting to the green elements:

“When they read it, they sort of said, ‘Can we take some of this tree-hugging, “FernGully” crap out of this movie?’ And I said, ‘No, because that’s why I’m making the film.’ ”

On how the film’s message inspires people to effect change here on Earth:

“If you’re tuned in to what’s happening in ‘Avatar,’ you start to feel a sense of moral outrage when you see the tree fall [destroying the Na’vi’s home], and it’s a compassionate response for these people. Then you feel a sense of uplift at the end as good vanquishes evil. If you put those two things together, it actually creates a ripe emotional matrix for people to want to do something about it.”

On reaction from environmental groups:

“We’re getting a tremendous amount of feedback from environmental groups, from people with specific causes. Whether it’s indigenous people being displaced by companies to do mining or to do oil drilling, or if it’s environmental groups saying, ‘Let’s do some curriculum around “Avatar.”‘”

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Adri

    I’m glad James Cameron had the clout to resist Fox and stick with his vision.

  • RandomJane

    IMO one of the most important issues we need to figure out is how to change peoples narrow views on conservation and preservation from “ahmagawd treehugging hairy legged liberal vegan hippie BS” into “This is important to me. I feel this on a personal level and it isn’t just for a slim demographic stereotype”.

    At times I find it completely odd that mankind has gotten to a point in evolution where we can find ways to attach a negative stigma to the natural world.

    Respecting nature is not a crime. We can all do it, and not be pigeon holed.

    I hope we’ll start to see more things like Avatar, that can affect people in a personal way, and change their preception on “who” this stuff applies to.

  • Robert M. Shelby

    This report gives us a good sense of FOX management mentality. They appear to stand against all worthy values including wholism and truthfulness. Their motto seems to be: “Everything for the buck so long as we and our friends get it and can pass it, avoiding any appearance of responsibility for bad consequences.”

  • LED

    The message was so blatantly loud and obnoxious it ruined the movie—it wasn’t necessary for it to be so in the audience’s face. It ruined the movie.

    And if it wasn’t for Fox putting up the money for the movie, it wouldn’t exist, so what are you all whining about them for?

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