A Simple Drawing Saved James Cameron From Almost A Dozen Avatar Lawsuits

In an interview with GQ from November of 2022, Cameron talked about how his record-keeping on the ideas for “Avatar” saved him a few headaches. It seems that when you’re making one of the most expensive movies in the history of the industry, and it goes on to be one of the most financially successful film of all time, well, many people are going to see it and perhaps recognize similarities to their own creative works. This, Cameron seems to imply, is common in Hollywood. Luckily, as he put it, a simple sketch saved him a lot of grief. In his words”

“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. So I actually have a drawing.”

As anyone who watched the recent murder mystery “Glass Onion” can attest, having a simple sketch that can be traced to a certain date proves when an idea was conceived and can clear up any legal disputes over intellectual property. Cameron clearly saved his sketch for similar reasons. He said:

“It saved us from about 10 lawsuits. Any successful film, there’s always some freak with tinfoil under their wig that thinks you’ve beamed the idea out of their head. And it turned out there were 10 or 11 of them.”

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