The Way of Water Almost Took the Na’vi to Outer Space


Screenwriting and film production duo Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver share their idea for the Avatar sequel that would have brought the Na’vi to space.

Avatar: The Way of Water wanted to take the Na’vi out of the ocean and into space.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who co-wrote the sequel with director James Cameron, shared their initial pitch to take the Na’vi off of Pandora for an outer space battle. “There was one idea of a space battle with Na’vi,” Jaffa said. “That idea got a lot of traction, and we talked a lot about it. We were struggling, though. How would that work with the story that we’re telling? Jim said, ‘Well, give me a few weeks.’ He went off and he wrote an entire script. And, by the way, a brilliant script.”

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Despite the script going over well in the writers’ room, Jaffa said, “At the end of the day, the whole script got thrown out because it just didn’t really work with the story we were telling.” Jaffa and Silver added that this was common in The Way of Water writers’ room, which would often take small details and work for a few days to see if it would work for the movie. “Some of them would be just minor things, a minor idea that we would dial down on,” Jaffa said. “It could be anything, from a plot point to a character to a character beat.”

Avatar: The Way of Water Had Many Early Scripts

According to Cameron, The Way of Water had several early scripts that were inevitably scrapped before they settled on the final version. While a space battle did not make it into The Way of Water, it did appear in the prequel comic, Avatar: The High Ground (from Sherri L. Smith, Doug Wheatley, Guilherme Balbi, Michael Atiyeh and Wes Dzioba). The book was published in November 2022 over three volumes and fills in the story gap from the time jump at the start of The Way of Water.

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Avatar: The Way of Water was released in theaters on Dec. 16, 2022, and saw Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña reprise their respective roles from 2009’s Avatar as Jake Sully and Neytiri. The plot revolves around the two raising their children on Pandora. However, when a familiar threat returns, Jake and Neytiri are forced to explore the different regions of their planet to raise an army to defend their home.

The sequel has so far received positive reviews, currently sitting at 77% on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing. The Way of Water is a box office success, so far earning $1.901 billion at the worldwide box office. The long-awaited sequel is quickly closing in on the earnings for Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is currently the sixth highest-grossing film at the worldwide box office.

Avatar: The Way of Water is in theaters now.

Source: EW


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