James Cameron's Entire Avatar Screenplay is Online for Free
by Ethan Anderton
January 12, 2010
While there's been nothing but universal praise for the stunning visuals in James Cameron's box office behemoth Avatar, there's been quite the negative chatter against Cameron's writing for the other-worldly epic. Words like unoriginal, hollow and even racist have been circling the internet in regards to the story, and I'm sure there's more to come after Cameron's Writer's Guild Awards nomination for Best Original Screenplay for the Avatar script. Now you can decide for yourself as SimplyScripts (via Rope of Silicon) points out 20th Century Fox has posted the entire Avatar screenplay for download free and legally.
While I'm one of the people who wholly enjoyed Avatar, I concede that the story itself was derivative and invokes enough similarities to films like The Last Samurai and Dances with Wolves to go so far as to call it unoriginal. But Avatar's strengths lie in its visuals which help make a familiar story feel brand new. Having said that, I don't think Avatar's screenplay is worthy of a nomination from the WGA (especially when a film like District 9 is overlooked for original screenplay) or even from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences once Oscar nominations come out in February. Now you can truly decide if you feel the same way.
Aside from the contrived dialogue and a complete lack of subtlety, the screenplay itself barely contains any memorable lines, which, for me, is indicative of a truly great screenplay. The only line that comes to mind would be "I see you," and that's just not cutting it for me. So do yourself a favor, download the Avatar script right here, read through all 151 pages of it, and let us know if you think he truly deserves all this acclaim.
Reader Feedback - 37 Comments
why don't they do this more often?
Xerxex on Jan 12, 2010
dude... the best line in the movie is without a doubt "Taruk-Akmar... (places his hand on Jake Sully's heart) I will fly with you." ha how doesn't that deserve a nomination! i mean come on that's GOLDEN! hahaha
DoomCanoe on Jan 12, 2010
awesome. Think I'll give it a scan after I watch the movie. yes yes yes - I have yet to see it. But I am booked to see it this week (after the school holidays)
Phillip Gibb on Jan 12, 2010
Strong pray on the weak and nobody does a thing. I told myself I can pass any test a man can pass. All I ever wanted, was a single thing worth fighting for. Marine in an avatar body, that's a potent mix. There are lines for you. Though the last is from the trailer, it's somewhat different in the film.
Bo on Jan 12, 2010
I love when they do this. I have the Dark Knight script. Still need to see Avatar though. I don't think I have to be in a hurry though. It'll be in the theatre for a long time at the rate it's making money.
Brandon on Jan 12, 2010
oh my god... this script is WOW>>. if this doesn't get an OSCAR award, i am so gonna cry... how could this amazing script not get any award? i just printed the WHOLE SCRIPT... WASTED 151 PAGES, BUT WORTH IT... GONNA MEMORIZE EVERY LINE FOR NEYTIRI... BUT THE SCRIPT IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT FROM THE ACTUAL MOVIE.. I GUESS THAT HAPPENS... WHEN YOU ARE SO BUSY FILMING THE MOVIE... GREAT JOB, JAMES CAMERON! AS ALWAYS...
luvAVATAR on Jan 12, 2010
Ugh, it was bad enough having to hear the script... please don't make me read it.
Kevin on Jan 12, 2010
The script read is actually a LOT better then when you hear it in the movie.
Gabs on Jan 12, 2010
I'm interested in how he explains the Na'vi's world in the script, "oh and then these lizards get agitated and spin in a circle while exuding orange light and making strange noises." ok James Cameron But seriously I've read some of his scripts and he seems to explain things very well, better than most.
Scott McHenry on Jan 12, 2010
As a fan of the movie, i still must say the story is a complete rip off of Pocahontas. There's a story synopsis of some sorts, that illustrates how derivative and been there done that the story and characters in Avatar are. Check this out http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/7094/disneypocahontasjamecam.jpg 😉
Darunia on Jan 12, 2010
GOOD GOD you are right...
Fira Infinity on Feb 7, 2011
Unfortunately, even the 'I see you' thing is highly derivative. It's lifted pretty much verbatim, context and all, from the Aiel people of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time fantasy book series. He lifted it from somewhere else too, no doubt though.
Andrew Ferguson on Jan 12, 2010
I have read the Article by Ethan Anderton i gree with him Avatar is all about visuels, the Story for me was not that great it was more like Dances With Wolves or few other films mention in further coments to put the script on the net seems a bit pointless to me. What i mean by that if you have seen the film why would you want the pdf (photo Docoment File) for Avatar.
Cineprog on Jan 12, 2010
OK OK OK , Can i say it!!!!!!!! I think THUNDERCATS can now be made, What do you guys think? Avatar was a masterpiece and i think the 3D industry needs to step up there accesory line, better Glasses, Nural Implants stuff like that. LoL Better Screens that could be made with higher quality material. I would even like some 3D glasses that werent tinted but we would still get the same 3D Effect. I know i know they need to be tinted but some one has to comeup with this stuff eventually!
THERBLIG on Jan 12, 2010
"District 9" inexplicably is considered as a paragon of originality in the art of screenwriting. I'm tiried of hearing this nonsese. Great lines are indicative of a scipt's quality? Please.
Kirk on Jan 12, 2010
The Pochahontas screenplay is online? Cool!
1-7 on Jan 12, 2010
"James Cameron's Entire Avatar Screenplay is Online for Free" You mean all 3 pages of it?
twittwit on Jan 12, 2010
people are reading way too much into this movie, just enjoy it for what it is. might skim through this later, hoping to go see it again soon btw ethan, you spelt academy wrong in your article...
harrison on Jan 12, 2010
Ken on Jan 12, 2010
for free? on the first Page: "ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. COPYRIGHT ©2007 TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION. NO PORTION OF THIS SCRIPT MAY BE PERFORMED, PUBLISHED, REPRODUCED, SOLD, OR DISTRIBUTED BY ANY MEANS, OR QUOTED OR PUBLISHED IN ANY MEDIUM, INCLUDING ANY WEB SITE, WITHOUT THE PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT OF TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION"
oh why? on Jan 12, 2010
Amanda Lee on Jan 12, 2010
People don't understand the script that is what needs to be said. Plus it's not racist, sure Native Americans or other indigenous peoples around the world may be offended by it but with Avatar its dealing with a different species so that doesn't count as racism. Then again get over it it's a film for christ sake, FICTION!
d1rEct on Jan 13, 2010
Avatar was an amazing movie, seen it three times in the theater, countless times on DVD and I can't wait for it to come out on Blu Ray ... No, wait my mistake, that was Dances With Wolves, sorry about that. Avatar was cute though.
Lady Jane on Jan 13, 2010
#23 you said "Avatar its dealing with a different species so that doesn't count as racism." I'm wondering if you felt the same way about Jar Jar Binks.
Sanka on Jan 13, 2010
I wonder when Cameron was writing the script if he thought "hmm...will anybody think I'm racist? I mean I'm bashing it in 2154, by then should humanity stop being little sensitive bastards and get along? or will they find every little racist detail in the story?" well if he was then it looks that way well ever since someone got offended when the colonel said "How does it feel to betray your own race" and assumed he was only talking about white people and not the whole fucking human race! Now the pope is joining in, saying that the film is telling people its okay to worship nature, and he warned us against the evil worship of nature apparently he's never heard of God is nature, God created nature therefore he is nature...or is that just me? ITS A FUCKING FICITIONAL MOVIE, AND I STRESS THE WORD F I C I T I O N A L!
Xerxex on Jan 13, 2010
I totally agree about great scripts having memorable lines. Like at the end of Saving Private Ryan where he asks his wife to "tell me I've led a good life, tell me I'm a good man." Or the argument in Kramer vs Kramer between Dustin Hoffman and his son, "I want my mommy!" "Well I'm all you've got!" When I think about movies I really like, one scene always jump out; like the opening monologue in No Country for Old Men. Even though I did like Avatar, I still call Sigourney Weaver's character Ripley... I don't have any one part of the movie that jumps out in my mind other than special effects. And btw "Micro changes in air density, my ass."
Galinoth on Jan 17, 2010
---About 90-95% of these 'posts' sound like they were written by the studio promotional department. Sad if true. Sadder still if it isn't. ---STOP being such easy marks -and circle-jerk worshippers.
mark 2010 on Jan 27, 2010
Best line... Mo-at to Jake: "It is hard to fill a cup which is already full"
Truth B Told on Feb 26, 2010
---Ripped off, almost scene for scene, from the equally mediocre 'Pocahantas'? That's what we hear. Boomer era PC selective 'consciousness' has been discredited ---for decades... WHEN will gens X, Y, Z --and beyond start realizing ---they're being had!
tiger tim on Apr 17, 2010
A lot of the Words and rituals and stuff in the movie Is very similar to the wheel of times series by Robert Jordan
Ruth on May 8, 2010
Thank you so much, to write this movie. What an imagination! This movie really makes us think about the nature and what important is to fight for our families. Thanks James. Im waiting for the second part!
ANA M on Oct 18, 2010
I think if anyone should feel ripped-off it's Ursula K LeGuin! If you read her, 'The Word for World is Forest." you'll see just how unoriginal much of this work really is. Cameron adapted so much of this from other Sci-Fi works I can't see how it can be called original. There are about a half-dozen other book from which much of the story is directly lifted.
Bob M. on Nov 15, 2010
Yes but WHERE IS THE LINK to the script. Why can't people make it obvious!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHERE IS THE LINK / URL?
Frustrated on Jan 3, 2011
The site seems to have been disabled so no download was possible.
Dennis on Feb 1, 2011
Mr. Ethan Anderson is clearly a man in need of great education. His comments are ignorant, absurd, and a public imposition.
Direwill on Apr 30, 2011
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