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James Cameron Almost Had ‘Glow in the Dark’ Na’vi in Avatar 2 That Looked Like Blue Xenomorphs

James Cameron Almost Had ‘Glow in the Dark’ Na'vi in Avatar 2 That Looked Like Blue Xenomorphs

Avatar: The Way of Water by visionary director James Cameron featured a varied culture and depiction of Pandora. The race of people that lived there had several evolutionary traits based on true scientific facts!

One of those evolutionary traits concerned the Na’vi people. According to early concept art from back in 2004, James Cameron liked the idea of the Na’vi tribe having a glow-in-the-dark trait due to a bioluminescent invertebrate merging with them.

A still from James Cameron's Avatar: The Way of Water (2022).
A still from James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water (2022).

James Cameron Wanted A Glow-in-the-dark Na’vi Tribe

The concept art for the Na’vi people went back as far as 2004 when the creative artists wanted a photorealistic portrait of what the Na’vi would look like. According to the artist Joseph C. Pepe, James Cameron had given them 14 days to come up with a really cool-looking alien tribe that was somewhat based on scientifically possible theories.

Pepe revealed that he had researched quite a lot and added a bioluminescent invertebrae on top of the Na’vi elder male’s head. Bioluminescent invertebrates glow in the dark due to a chemical reaction and are usually found in the oceans and sometimes in the deep sea. According to the artist, James Cameron had given no visible reaction but he recognized the invertebrates and would have liked to feature them in his movie.

A concept art of James Cameron's vision of the Na'vi Tribe.
Concept art of James Cameron’s vision of the Na’vi Tribe.

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In the image above, it can be clearly seen that an invertebrate is situated on top of the person referred to as the “Na’vi Elder Male”. The invertebrate was an addition by the artist that seemed to appease The Terminator director

“We were given 14 days to show Cameron ‘something new, further develop the characters and bring them some new life.’ At the time, Cameron had stated that the film would be photorealistic once completed and I felt the extreme pressure to illustrate something that would impress him.” wrote Pepe in his Instagram caption.

James Cameron, after looking at the photo went even as far as to recognize the animal and its scientific name which astonished the artist Joseph C.Pepe.

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When James Cameron Excelled in The Scientific Department Of Avatar

James Cameron.
James Cameron.

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In the caption, Joseph C. Pepe further wrote that James Cameron had given no visible reaction upon seeing the initial concept art. What he did say was the correct scientific name of the bioluminescent animal which was quite unexpected for the artist.

“At the time Cameron did not express any emotion during the review, only that he recognized the Sea Slug bioluminescence that I used on the forehead. That is a Pelagic Nudibranch, Phylliroe Bucephala.’ My mouth agape in total astonishment that not only did he recognize what type of animals’ bioluminescence I had used, he also knew its scientific name.”

For reasons unknown, James Cameron decided against the idea of featuring bioluminescent Na’vi people that glowed in the dark. Avatar: The Way of Water has been a great success for the director as it has raked in a whopping $2.075 billion at the global box office till now. Sequels for the Avatarverse have been confirmed as the Titanic director busies himself with his magnum opus franchise.

Avatar: The Way of Water is currently running in theaters worldwide for people to see.

Source: Instagram

Written by Visarg Acharya

Visarg Acharya joined FandomWire in 2022 as a Content Writer. Along with a penchant for writing, Visarg claims that words are the only true language made for him. Currently pursuing his B.Sc in Physics, the combination of Physics and Marvel make up for an interesting talk. Visarg Acharya has authored over 500 articles and reads books in his spare time along with an occasional series to accompany him.