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James Cameron on that alleged AVATAR design that found its way onto the nets!

Hey folks, Harry here... A few days ago, Merrick posted an image that was represented as being a Na'Vi character design from James Cameron's AVATAR. The design was also allegedly removed from a number of other sites that it had been posted upon. However, we here at AICN, never received such a request. However, I did receive an email from James Cameron today catching me up with how production is going on AVATAR. In that letter, he specifically addressed that design, here is that portion of the letter...

You recently posted some artwork of a supposed Na'vi character. Don't know where you got it but it's spurious. I've never seen that piece of art. We had a lot of free-ranging conceptual stuff in the early days of design two and a half years ago, and it might be something that was done then but not shown to me, but it is definitely not remotely our actual character design. Aside from two legs, two arms and a tail, it doesn't have any features in common with our final designs. If I had to guess I'd say it's a piece of fan art based on the description of the Na'vi from the old treatment which was leaked twelve years ago. That description is obsolete relative to the shooting script, since things have changed a lot over the years.

I wrote Jim back to see if I may share the rest of the letter to you, as it includes some rather awesome developments in technology and just general excitement about the work he is doing in New Zealand at the moment, that got me quite excited, and I'm sure would thrill many of you. For now though - realize that this is what Mr Cameron thought of that art...

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:07 p.m. CST




  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:07 p.m. CST


    by Leafy McPlantsalot

    Cameron rules!!!

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:07 p.m. CST


    by Prof_Ender

    Cuz I said so.

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:07 p.m. CST


    by StrokerX

    me !

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Please share the rest of the letter!

    by Rindain

    Hope Cameorn lets you update us a bit with some real AVATAR news. Words cannot express how excited I am for this.

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:08 p.m. CST


    by Tubbs Tattsyrup

    It looked like ass. And I second the request for the rest of the letter!

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:08 p.m. CST

    first! hell naw!


    i think it's a little weird that the drawing looks JUST LIKE the pixelated image from another source- down to skin pattern and all. <P>but to be honest, i don't really give a squat about this movie.<P>que flashbacks to ABYSS now.

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:10 p.m. CST

    first! hell naw!


    i think it's a little weird that the drawing looks JUST LIKE the pixelated image from another source- down to skin pattern and all. <P>but to be honest, i don't really give a squat about this movie.<P>cue flashbacks to ABYSS now.

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:10 p.m. CST

    I knew that pic was crap.

    by Regenhund

    now, what does he have to say about the REAL design?

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:15 p.m. CST

    Oh, btw- fuck you Harry.

    by Regenhund

    "Oh, Mr Cameron, after I take your dick out of my mouth, can I tell everyone else how it tastes?" Why would he send details of his movie to a MOVIE NEWS site and expect you not to print it?! You're not withholding info on a source that might get him kicked off a set, you're asking permission to pass along info fed to you by THE PRODUCER! WTF is that?

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:16 p.m. CST

    That was AWESOME!

    by The Dude Abides


  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:22 p.m. CST

    I remember reading the script to this way back when....

    by The Dum Guy

    I never finished it...

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:34 p.m. CST

    I just got off skype with Gale Ann Herd

    by BobPalpatine

    She told me to tell Jim Cameron to go fuck himself. Awesome!!

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:35 p.m. CST



    I know that it seems like I'm being careful - but dude... He was writing to set a story right, and he shared a bit of additional information, but with no notice about the letter being printed. I wrote Jim to see if I could share it all, to make sure it was ok with him. It's a courtesy to doublecheck with him.

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Yeah that's called "Not Being a Douche"

    by DOGSOUP

    Common professional curtesy also applies. Shit.

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Spurious-some! And Aliens of the Deep Extended Edition

    by 'Cholera's Ghost about an Aliens of the Deep with more bonus footage, with the brilliant scientists discussing brilliant science things more? Also, am I wrong, or did something happen between the marine biologist chick and that dude from NASA? Don't tell me they didn't do it out there on the boat. Don't tell me that. It was obvious, two attractive young smart people isolated from civilization, presenting a challenge to each other trying to be the one to shine, the spirit of competition fueling the fire? The sexual tension there was palpable.

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:52 p.m. CST

    It's 5:52 pm Mon, Dec. 3 in Wellington right now

    by Rindain

    Wonder if Jim is done shooting for the day? Yeah, you can say I'm starving for news.

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Yeah you don't want to be a Perez Hilton...

    by Mixiboi

    ...getting very little(in everything) except being sued left an right

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:55 p.m. CST


    by chrth

    It's midnight, I got nothing.

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:55 p.m. CST

    I thought the picture was

    by Loosejerk


  • Dec. 2, 2007, 10:59 p.m. CST

    No offense Harry but....

    by Robusto

    You have allowed your friendships with these folk (deltoro, tarantino, jackson, cameron, and rodriguez) to affect your journalism. While you know get all these great sripts and private conversations, your readers get scraps because you are obligated now. You seem to respect your friends jobs but now it is time they respect yours.. if you have dirt you publish it. If they get mad and stop talking to you they were never really your friend.

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 11:10 p.m. CST

    Na'vi? HEY! HELLO! LISTEN!

    by Horseflesh

    Damn Zelda fairies!

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 11:13 p.m. CST

    Hey Harry?!?

    by Freddie Mercury

    If you could have any "themed" golfcart, what would it be?

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Wait, Harry's a journalist now?

    by BobPalpatine


  • Dec. 2, 2007, 11:30 p.m. CST

    Harry should start a new Watergate

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    it is his duty as my prime news source.

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 11:33 p.m. CST

    Harry has friends!

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    Still, if I was mates with Jimmy C I wouldn't tell you cunts nuthin, after all don't you guys hate Cameron?

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 11:43 p.m. CST


    by RipVanMarlowe

    C'mon let's be fair. Harry and the AICN crew do a great job delivering movie news, but it's definitely not journalism. The great thing about the AICN writers is that they do get to have their cake and eat it too - journalist access without the ethical responsibilities. And forget being a good friend - if Harry were to burn James Cameron on this letter, then it'd be reasonable to assume AICN wouldn't get anything more on AVATAR in the future.

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 11:47 p.m. CST

    thats what it seems like

    by ClockWorker

    I couldnt believe the T2 hate on that TB the other night

  • Dec. 2, 2007, 11:55 p.m. CST


    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    Get ready, the first douchebag will soon step up to the plate.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 12:18 a.m. CST

    Regenhund, SHUT THE FUCK UP and let Harry...

    by ABking

    Regenbhund, SHUT THE FUCK UP and let Harry run his site. Jealousy is a funny thing Harry...

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 12:21 a.m. CST

    "I wrote JIM back....."

    by zillabeast

    Wow. To be on those terms.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 12:32 a.m. CST

    its a double edged sword..

    by soup74

    its easy to bitch about harry being a sell-out because hes not sticking it to the man and showing the rest of the letter, but at the same time, if he always 'stuck it to the man' he wouldnt have gotten that letter in the first place. so, although, i doubt anything JC wrote him will be something he doesnt want us to know, i dont mind harry asking if its kosher to do so.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 12:38 a.m. CST

    Obvious that those crappy designs were fake

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    but good to have Jim's word, too.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 12:44 a.m. CST

    by Mezzanine

    I don't blame Harry for checking at all; to be on emailing buddy terms with James Cameron when you run a movie website isn't something you want to lose. Avatar looks fucking sweet - and if you dumbasses hate Cameron, then fuck yourselves.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 1:58 a.m. CST

    Ask Cameron to fix the effects in "The Mist"...

    by Kirbymanly

    Fucking great movie... just needs better CG.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 2:28 a.m. CST

    Any other director, I'd say fuck 'em and print it

    by photoboy

    But this is James Cameron, the dude has more than earned the respect Harry is showing.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 2:36 a.m. CST

    Am I the only one who hopes Cameron doesn't return?

    by J-Dizzle

    Seriously, I will never forgive him for Titanic.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 2:42 a.m. CST

    No J-Dizzle, unfortunately you are not alone

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    it seems stupidity is contagious

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 3:08 a.m. CST

    it was fake? i'm not gonna see the movie now...

    by newc0253

    Cameron was right, that pic looked like fan art. Bad fan art too.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 3:20 a.m. CST

    Anybody who disses T2

    by kwisatzhaderach

    is clearly touched in the head.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 3:52 a.m. CST

    abraham lincoln sent me an email yesterday.

    by duchuvney_post_x

    im glad it was fake cos it was really bad. abe says wudup.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 4:54 a.m. CST


    by Thall_Joben

    Well fingers crossed the design is something radical. Folks can like his movies but not always think they're a work of flawless perfection, or that he's a loveable saint. Get over it. Baaaah.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 5:25 a.m. CST

    Woo hoo!

    by Ghostball

    Never genuinely thought I'd get any joy when I posted that TB request for any Lightstorm big-wig to disown the image (no offense to the artist - nice, but uninspired effort) but fuck me if it wasn't JAMES FUCKIN' CAMERON HIMSELF who came to the rescue of my peace of mind! Cheers Jim!

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 6:36 a.m. CST

    My take on Titanic was it was obvious Oscar bait.

    by rbatty024

    Sure, it was a pretty bad movie but you can't blame Cameron for wanting the golden statue. He pretty much said one day, "you know, I think I'd like to win best picture" and then went ahead and did it. Titanic was his big "Fuck you academy! Now give me an award." And they listened.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 7 a.m. CST

    I'm certainly not a fan of "Titanic".

    by C Legion

    The acting, story and dialogue were pretty awful, but, the sinking of the ship was stunningly well done. Also the fact that James Cameron made EASILY the highest grossing film of all time is quite an achievement. So I'll cut him some slack for that one, he's made some pretty fucking great Sci-Fi films.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 7:19 a.m. CST

    I have faith

    by MatDGZ

    IN Cameron. He a visionary, a man who is able to make his ideas materialise in front of our eyes - T1000 anyone? His ability to create worlds and laws and rules is zeroed perfectly. I am eager to see Avatar, but for all the time spent on it and the amount of post SFX work, it'd better have a shit-hot story to boot. Not that Cameron can't do that - but come on, has he ever really made a film better than T2?

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 7:22 a.m. CST

    concept art is no indication of the quality of a film to come

    by Spandau Belly

    Lots of movies have really unique and inventive worlds and creatures but suck (think Tim Burton). Whereas lots of movies may have creatures and worlds that don't look all that interesting on paper but are really thrilling films because they tell a great story well. If you look at the design they had for the Predator when they went into production on that movie it looked ridiculous, but the movie rocks.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 8:15 a.m. CST

    MatDGZ, Cameron film better than T2:

    by raw_bean

    Aliens, duh! :^)

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 8:32 a.m. CST

    speaking of T2

    by T 1000 xp professional

    Official News: Christian Bale is John Connor. Now you may all rejoice

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 8:35 a.m. CST

    I hope they

    by Series7

    Make this an limited release Sci Fi movie so no one sees it, like Sunshine.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Meeowww, Series 7...! Lol

    by Ghostball

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 8:57 a.m. CST


    by Regenhund

    It's called a "Talkback", not a bully pulpit. Harry is gracious enough to provide us a means of sending him a thumbs up or calling him out. Obviously he thought my criticism valid enough to respond, despite my admittedly hostile tone, and for that, I respect him. My point was that if James Cameron is sending the owner of a movie site juicy shit and doesn't expect him to print it, then Harry has gone from being a fan like us (or maybe not quite like us, but you get the point) to a slimy industry insider. He's become the guy that sends information to movie sites, not the guy who gleefully prints them. There is a line that should not be crossed, and this story tells me that Harry is overflowing his jacuzzi on the far side of it. ----- So stick up your ass, shithead.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Clarification is good

    by Cobbio

    Good to get James Cameron's clarification on that piece of artwork: it's not the design they're using.<p> I actually didn't mind that fan-art sketch of the Na'Vi. But I'm sure Cameron hasn't fucked around with creating viable, character-driven aliens who happen to look totally badass.<p> Viva La Avatar!

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Now that he has seen it, does he like it?

    by Diagnostic


  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Hey leobloom!

    by Spandau Belly

    Leonardo DiCaprio is actually teaming up with Martin Scorsese for something called GANGS OF NEW YORK. It's a reimagining of Walter Hill's The Warriors set in 1870 and done as a concept movie that will be about spending several hours and wacky tangents to build up tension between rival gangs only to have them all get knocked over by a stray cannonball in the climax followed by a tribute to the World Trade Centre. Scorsese boasts that it will be the most unsatsfying ending since Die Hard 3 and No Country For Old Men.<br><br>I can't wait, I hear Liam Neason has signed up for a supporting role. I hope they don't kill him like they did in Rob Roy, Star Wars, Kingdom of Heaven, Batman Begins, and every other movie he's been in. He might get typecast.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:57 a.m. CST

    This will be a cinematic shift- shit is gonna change people

    by dirtsandwich

    Hold on to your butts. Please at least publish not details of the story so much but the cutting edge technology he's dabbling in. I hope his photo-realistic performance capture in HD 3D makes Kong and Gollum look like Mickey Mouse. No offense to PJ, (Kong and Gollum look and was fantastic) just I hope it's going to be that much better. I only have faith in one director (James Cameron) to turn me into a fucking basket case after seeing a film. Avatar just might do that by taking me off this fucking ball for two hours.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Cameron - please

    by dirtsandwich

    take back the Fantastic Voyage project from Roland (lame-ass, crap-fucking dialogue, don't give a fuck about the characters only effects) Emmerich. He's gonna fuck up an awesome opportunity for a great 3D film. I think he's doing it in 2D. If he attempts to try 3D then watch out, that's like giving a revolver to an infant. He may hurt himself with it. Roland, do your campy/silly ID4 sequel. Maybe your brain dead aliens this time will install Norton on their systems. What a fucking joke.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:20 a.m. CST

    My most anticipated film is ANYTHING from Cameron.

    by JDanielP

    Oh, man. Get ready to crap your pants! James Cameron is one of America's greatest directors OF ALL TIME. That's my opinion.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:46 a.m. CST

    tee heeheheeheh hee

    by occula

    hey spandau, you're funny on a monday morning (or whenever it is wherever you are). i saids it befores and i'll says it agains: worship at the altar! cameron could make the douchebaggiest movie of all time about gay lemurs in space and i'd go see it because i have faith he will STILL manage to send a thrill through me at some point. movie after movie i watch with such expectations and am always disappointed, but any old cameron movie - no matter how many times i've seen it - still gets me hoppin'.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Well thank fu** for that!

    by Rufus

    That was one crappy-ass looking ho-alien!

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 11:10 a.m. CST


    by SoWasRed2012

    Avatar's most probably gonna be awesome, but I was thinking maybe you could get Jim's opinion on Christian Bale as John Connor? What does he make of the whole McG/Bale oxymoron?

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 11:14 a.m. CST

    "ALIENS" may be my favorite flick. Hard to choose.

    by JDanielP

    Seriously, if I had to choose my personal favorite movie, I think I'd have to choose James Cameron's "ALIENS" ( bring on that "HALO" flick). And by the way, "T2" still rocks, along with EVERYTHING ELSE that Cameron does. He puts body and soul into every motion picture and delivers every time, I feel. Say what you will about "TITANIC", but Cameron will always deliver in whatever genre he decides to invest himself in. Personally, I want Cameron to stay within the genres of sci-fi and fantasy. I can't wait for all these projects that he continues to push forward. I saw "ALIENS" five times at the theatre, back in the day...and it was then that I had a distinctly favorite movie director, in James Cameron.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 11:24 a.m. CST

    " includes some rather *AWESOME* developments in technology"

    by The_Hypnotoad

    You just can't escape from the AWESOMENESS phenomena.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 11:32 a.m. CST


    by bythehairofsanjaya

    Well ever since Heroes did not give Ando anything to do this season but read notes stuck in a sword he had to use his power of *AWESOME* somewhere or explode like Peter did.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 11:46 a.m. CST

    I just read

    by Series7

    Somewhere that James is actually in contact with some aliens and is going to film half of this film on another planet!

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 11:53 a.m. CST

    I bet the letter contains at least one "AWESOME" in it.

    by The_Hypnotoad

    Am I wrong, Harry?

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 11:54 a.m. CST


    by J-Dizzle

    Stupidity contagious? I have to agree with you on that one, especially when Cameron made the announcement, "ZOMG! I've phOUnd Jeezus' tooooom!" T2 was really good though. But Titantic? After that Cameron became a Titanic douche nozzle.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 12:24 p.m. CST

    I just got off a skype conference call with Suzy Amis, Linda Ham

    by BobPalpatine

    It was so awesome.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 12:25 p.m. CST

    I just got off a skype conference call

    by BobPalpatine

    with Suzy Amis, Linda Hamilton, Kathryn Bigelow, Gale Ann Hurd, and Sharon Williams. As you might have read before, it was quite awesome.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Credit Cameron for opening new doors

    by dirtsandwich

    What Cameron does will effect everything. I even think my fucking Cheerios will taste better because of it. This will influence others, especially Peter Jackson, mainly because of WETA. I wonder if Spielberg is gonna embrace this technology. It sure would of helped his lame-ass War of the Worlds turd. Hey Speilberg, this is a great chance to it use for "Interstellar"...come on, Fuck 2D. A futuristic movie about wormholes filmed in primitive cromagnon 2D. Yeah, that's makes alot of sense.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Yeah, cut the dude some slack guys..

    by Lemming

    Of course this site was all about 'sticking it to the man' but that premise accomplished what it set out to do: show the movie industry that us Geeks can make or break their movies in alot of cases. Now Harry et al are on professional terms because it pays to keep that integrity and those ties with the people that matter in Hollywood.<p> I mean, since when is James Cameron of all people 'the man', anyway? 'the man' has and always will be the suits in Hollywood, but I digress.<p>As long as AintitCool continues to call bullshit when they see it, we might avoid the movie industry being buried under lowest common denominator bullshit.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 12:42 p.m. CST

    After this shit gets old

    by dirtsandwich

    Cameron will be filming everything in(Super-HiDef) SHD Photo-realistic Holographic Sequencing. In others words when you go to the movies there will be a stage rather then a screen. The entire film will be projected in 3D as a hologram without the aid of glasses.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Harry: heard back from Cameron yet?

    by Rindain

    Please let us know when you've heard back from him, even if he doesn't want you to print the rest of the email!

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 2:08 p.m. CST



    IN A DISCOUNT BIN OF A "BIG LOTS" IN SHEBOYGAN (sp?) GOING FOR 2 for $1.50..AND THEY STILL CAN'T GET RID OF THEM...they were there bside all the old CONGO and JURASSIC PARK toys from like 1995..did i mention i traveled into the future?<P> anyway- THEY WERE AWESOME! like mcdonald's french fries dipped in pussy chocolate.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Not enough breasts!

    by zinc_chameleon

    Told ya! She'll have six: 2 Ds, 2Cs, and 2Bs. Then a belly button that blinks.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Jimmy and his big words!

    by standundermyumbrella

    What does SPURIOUS mean? Anyone?

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Just saw AVATAR at a small screening in NY

    by JimCurry

    It was The Abyss 2!

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Just saw Kurzinski Valentine's Cloverfield poster

    by JimCurry

    It was meh! (jk, it was AWESOME!)

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Just saw pirahna 2 flying killers...........


    At a private screening in grimsby u.k. it's camerons finest hour, you can be sure of it :)

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Where's the True Lies 2-disc "We Kick Terrorist Ass" Spec. Editi

    by MrMysteryGuest

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 7:10 p.m. CST

    James Cameron would want us to know about the letter

    by darrenspool

    That's why he sent it to AICN. Because it's COOL NEWS! I doubt Jim was talking about his fucking prostrate, was he?

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 1:21 a.m. CST


    by INWOsuxRED

    How else is Harry supposed to stretch a non-story into three or four heavily trafficed posts?

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 2:23 a.m. CST

    Harry = Moses

    by CuervoJones

    I envy you.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 3:48 a.m. CST


    by Swollen_balls_low_hung_too

    James Cameron has motive - dont believe a word he says.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 2:36 p.m. CST

    James Cameron should have don Transformers.

    by GibsonUSA

    Imagine the space battle. Yes, imagine.