It Took Three Screenwriting Teams To Write The Avatar Sequels

To fuel his “Avatar” machine, Cameron assembled a team of veteran sci-fi screenwriters consisting of married writing and producing duo Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (“Planet of the Apes” reboot trilogy), showrunner and writer Josh Friedman (“Foundation,” “War of the Worlds,” “Terminator: Dark Fate”) and writer-producer Shane Salerno (“Armageddon,” “Ghost Recon: Wild Lands”).

While he has admitted to taking control of the script at times (Cameron even completed the “Avatar 2” script himself before largely scrapping it and starting over), he told The Wrap:

“The key to it was we were going to create three screenwriting teams … And then it turned out that there was a writing team, the ampersand team that came in. There were actually four of them, one of me. The five of us sat in a room with a whiteboard and we broke the story across all the films to the end, which ultimately became [movies] two through five.”

Rather than immediately designating writers to specific films, as Marvel might have done, Cameron explained:

“I didn’t tell them which one they were going to work on because the second I assigned a specific story, they would’ve tuned out every time we started talking about one of the other ones. I said, ‘You’re all equally invested in the entire story arc until we break up and go to our separate corners to go to draft.’ On the very last day, which was right before Christmas, I said, ‘Okay, you’re doing this one and you’re doing this one.’¬†And then they promptly tuned out for most of the day.”

Combined with the talent involved, Cameron allowing time for the writers to latch on to one chapter over another reassures the “Avatar” films will tell a strong narrative both across and within films.

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