February 3, 2023


With “Avatar: The Way of Water” on the way in a few weeks, filmmaker James Cameron has been giving interviews and has now started tackling some broader strokes about the long-awaited sequel and the franchise overall.

In a recent chat, Cameron was asked about the choice to make the Na’vi alien race blue-skinned, and about the infamous SNL sketch making fun of the original film’s use of the Papyrus font.

Speaking with Empire, Cameron says making the Na’vi blue wasn’t for any major thematic reason, rather it was mostly a matter of practicality and differentiation. He tells the outlet:

“As for the colour: green was taken. There was a long history of green aliens. Plus, the Hulk. And the human colours, pinks and browns, weren’t alien. SpongeBob was yellow.

That pretty much left blue and purple. Purple is my favorite colour, but I figured we’d use that for one of our main bioluminescence colours, which we did, associating it with Eywa and anything sacred to the Navi.”

He also had another source of inspiration, a dream of his mother’s:

“Also, my mom told me about this dream she had where there was a ten-foot-tall blue woman with six breasts. Cool image. I drew her, but the six breasts thing didn’t come out looking as good as it sounds, plus would mess with the rating. So, anyway … blue.”

Next up, Cameron was asked about the use of the Papyrus font for the first film’s logo by none other than the font’s creator Chris Costello. The use of the very basic font led to a memorable Ryan Gosling sketch on SNL in which a man is haunted by Cameron’s choice to use that font. Cameron jokes:

“Just think of how much we could have grossed if it wasn’t for that damn font. I was not aware that our font was an off-the-shelf thing; I assumed the art department or the title company came up with it. Of course, it was trolled mercilessly as a lazy choice, but frankly, I like the font… If Papyrus resonates with the issues of Indigenous cultures in the public consciousness, then that fits well with ‘Avatar,’ so I’m not losing any sleep over it.”

“Avatar: The Way of Water” is set to swim into cinemas on December 16th.

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