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10+ Behind The Scenes Secrets From 'Avatar' Fans Didn't Know

James Cameron has made a career out of revolutionizing the movie industry. But of all the mesmerizing films James has released over the years, arguably none was more impactful than Avatar.

To celebrate the many achievements of this incredible piece of filmmaking, take a look at these 10+ Avatar behind the scenes secrets that fans didn't know!

1. Composer James Horner invented his own instruments for the film's score.

James is the man behind epic film scores like Titanic as well as Braveheart.

He was looking to capture an other-worldly sound, something never heard before. In order to do that, he had to create instruments no human being had ever played before.

2. There is an actual Na'vi language.

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James Cameron isn't known for being blase when it comes to the little details that make up a movie.

He enlisted the help of Linguistics expert, Paul Frommer, to craft a brand new language for the film that contains over a thousand different words.

3. At the time, it was the most expensive movie that Fox had ever made — by a long shot.

Everyone knows that James Cameron has a reputation for directing big-budget productions. But Avatar far exceeded anything that had ever come before.

Luckily for Fox (and for James), their investment paid off.

4. It took a seriously long time to make the movie.

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James Cameron first began drafting the script in 1994. The film didn't hit theaters until 2009!

Which seems incomprehensible but there was a very practical reason for the stall.

The technology hadn't yet caught up to James Cameron's vision!

In case there was any lingering doubt as to the genius of James Cameron. I present to you "Exhibit A." The man basically had to invent the technology himself!

Cameron is a world-builder. There's just no other way to describe him.

5. James Cameron was accused of plagiarism.

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There are a number of movies that play out eerily similar to Avatar. Films like Dances With Wolves and The Last Samurai share very similar ideas and themes.

But perhaps the most obvious inspiration to point to is the animated classic, Fern Gully.

6. James Cameron came under fire — for smoking!

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There's a scene in the film where we see Sigourney Weaver's character is seen puffing on a cigarette. This was all it took to get Avatar labeled as a pro-smoking film!

An accusation which James Cameron emphatically refutes.

7. The film never would have been made were it not for *The Lord Of The Rings*.

More specifically — were it not for Gollum.

Once James Cameron had seen the CGI rendering of the cursed hobbit and how incredibly lifelike it was, he knew that finally, the time had come to make Avatar.

8. *Avatar* was one of the first films to fully embrace filming in 3-D.

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According to James, it took more than six years of fine-tuning to get to a point where he felt comfortable with the cameras.

If it looked that good in 2009, what will the technology in Avatar 2 be like?!

9. James Cameron's mother was the one responsible for the design of the Na'vi.

According to James, the image of a 12-foot-tall blue woman came to her in a dream.

For whatever reason, James couldn't shake the idea — he found it intriguing. So it stuck.

10. If James Cameron had his way, *Avatar* would have been rated-R.

Director Robert Rodriguez said in an interview with Screen Rant that James' original script was much darker and more adult.

"He knew he needed to pull some stuff back so it could be for all audiences, PG-13," Rodriguez said.

11. There are supposedly four more *Avatar* sequels in the works!

That's right, over the course of the next decade Cameron plans to release at least four more films.

The big question is, will it make more money than Avengers: Endgame? We will have to wait and see.

12. James Cameron made a ridiculous amount of money directing the movie.

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The total gross profits of Avatar were more than $2.7 billion. For all of his hard work, James took a cut of $350 million.

Which seems completely bonkers to me but considering James was the producer, writer, and director — I guess it's pretty well deserved.

13. No one was allowed to eat meat while on set.

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James Cameron is a vegan and an outspoken climate change activist. He was determined to put his money where his mouth was while on set.

He enforced very strict plant-based diets with the entire cast and crew.

14. Actor Michael Biehn was burned by James Cameron, once again.

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Michael Biehn has appeared in a number of James Cameron's films over the years. Most notably, he was Kyle Reese in the first two Terminator movies.

Supposedly Michael had convinced himself for nine whole months that he'd be offered the part of Col. Miles Quaritch. Sadly, he was mistaken.