James Cameron admitted that he had drafted tons of scripts before Disney eventually approved them to create Avatar: The Way of Water, then Avatar 3, 4, and 5, as well. In fact, of the many scrapped scripts, one of them happened to feature the Na’vis fighting in space instead of in Pandora with the Metkayina clan, as revealed by one of the writers on the team.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Avatar: The Way of Water co-writer Rick Jaffa revealed having an initial idea of Na’vi battling in space, which might have sounded like a good idea at first, however, in the end, they couldn’t push through. Check out Jaffa’s full comment below:
“There was one idea of a space battle with Na’vi,” the co-writer revealed, “That idea got a lot of traction, and we talked a lot about it. We were struggling, though. How would that work with the story that we’re telling?”
In an attempt to somehow save the concept into the Avatar franchise, James Cameron wrote an entire “brilliant” script, Jaffa added, “Jim said, “Well, give me a few weeks.” He went off and he wrote an entire script. And by the way, a brilliant script.” Unfortunately, the new script couldn’t make the part, “At the end of the day, the whole script got thrown out because it didn’t really work with the story we were telling.”
Truthfully, that would’ve been an interesting take for the Na’vi. However, anybody can agree that Avatar: The Way of Water being set in nature, Pandora, is better, given the message of the story. The scrapped script actually managed to find its home. It was adapted into Sherri L. Smith’s three-volume graphic novel, Avatar: The High Ground, featuring a one-year time jump at the beginning of the film.
Avatar: The Way of Water is still showing in cinemas worldwide, with Avatar 3 currently slated for a theatrical release on December 20, 2024.