James Cameron Got the Idea for Avatar in His Dreams: ‘My own private streaming service… runs every night for free’

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Avatar director James Cameron reveals that his most successful works are products of his dreams. The 62-year-old veteran filmmaker says that he uses these vivid dreams of his as a source of inspiration. He has produced many popular and award-winning movies in Hollywood over the span of his career.

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Still image from James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water

In 2009, Cameron’s Avatar took the world by storm and made $2.7 billion, the highest-grossing movie of all time. Many would call him the father of modern action movies, as evident in his other well-known projects such as The Terminator, Aliens, and Titanic. Disney will soon release Avatar: The Way of Water, and it is going to be the director’s first film feature in 13 years.

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James Cameron Reveals He Got The Idea Of Avatar From His Sleep

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Still image from James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water

When asked about his source of ideas, Cameron reveals to GQ:

I have my own private streaming service that’s better than any of that shit out there. And it runs every night for free.”

The director would sometimes wake up from a nightmare and tells himself how good it was that he could turn it into a film. Avatar came out from his own slumberland.

I woke up after dreaming of this kind of bioluminescent forest with these trees that look kind of like fiber-optic lamps and this river that was glowing bioluminescent particles and kind of purple moss on the ground that lit up when you walked on it. And these kinds of lizards that didn’t look like much until they took off. And then they turned into these rotating fans, kind of like living Frisbees, and they come down and land on something. It was all in the dream. I woke up super excited and I actually drew it.

Cameron claimed that he has been working on the franchise in spite of the many delays. From meeting the cast to writing the script, he did all that in three years.


Zoe Saldaña, one of the main cast in Avatar: The Way of Water, confessed that she finds Cameron’s approach to filmmaking unique. Marvel movies are usually based on comics, while the filmmaker’s vision is based on a single man’s dream.

RELATED: Fans Mesmerized with the VFX of Avatar: The Way of Water: Would It Set the New Benchmark for Films?

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Still image from James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water

Avatar: The Way of Water involves a richly diverse combination of visual effects, layers of lighting, and real underwater scenes. Cameron says, “It’s not animation in a Pixar sense where they’re just making stuff up.” The director said that the actors do all the movements, which will be translated from the captured data to the 3D-CG character.


Avatar: The Way of Water will arrive in theaters on December 16, 2022.

Source: GQ

RELATED: “I’m not about to sit for 3 hours”: Fans Frustrated with James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water For Its Record-Breaking Runtime



Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 2045

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.