James Cameron Originally Wanted ‘Avatar’ To Be Rated R

20th Century Fox

Avatar, the 2009 science fiction and fantasy film directed by James Cameron that tried (somewhat successfully… ish) to re-energize the production and release of 3D movies, has been in the news a lot. That’s because two of the four announced sequels have completed principal photography (and abandoned the Papyrus font), and their working titles have all been announced. Now we’re talking about it again thanks to what Cameron’s Alita: Battle Angel collaborator, Robert Rodriguez, let slip about its original rating.

While discussing the differences between the Alita graphic novels’ violence and how far the film adaptation will (or will not) go, Rodriguez told Screen Rant that Cameron had originally written an R-rated version of Avatar:

“Part of what Jim [Cameron] did on Avatar originally, he wrote that to be an R-rated movie. He knew he needed to pull some stuff back so it could be for all audiences, PG-13.”

Um, what? I mean, sure, the movie Cameron ultimately made is ripe for all kinds of Frotcast jokes about the Na’vi’s practice of Tsaheylu (i.e. neural bonding with Pandora’s fauna via phallic hair tentacles), but what Rodriguez is actually referring to is his partner’s penchant for cinematic violence. From The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day to Aliens, Cameron’s films are chock-full of blood and gore. So all your jokes about Pandora orgies notwithstanding, an R-rated Avatar probably had more to do with its violence.

(Via Screen Rant)