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James Cameron Sees Himself In All Of Avatar's Main Characters

"Avatar: The Way of Water" is finally here, and it looks like director James Cameron made the right decision going all in on his original franchise. In a time where adaptations and remakes dominate the industry, "Avatar" continues to find success at the box office, a testament to Cameron's ability to bring new and creative ideas through the world of Pandora. 

"The Way of Water" takes the unique ideas Cameron introduced in "Avatar" and dials them up to 100. The sequel uses its over three-hour runtime perfectly, with both new and returning characters getting more than enough time to shine. Jake (Sam Worthington), Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), and Quaritch (Stephen Lang) are all back, with Cameron taking the time to explore how each character has grown over the decade since the events of the first movie. The legendary filmmaker also introduces a roster of new characters, including Kiri (Sigourney Weaver), Lo'ak (Britain Dalton), and Spider (Jack Champion), bringing in a new "chosen one" storyline while exploring the depths of Pandora's oceans. 

Cameron's character development is one of the standout aspects of "The Way of Water," as the director continues to cement his place as one of the best to ever do it. With the sequel, he adds more heroes and villains to his already long list of iconic characters, and it turns out the director looked inwards when creating some of the best personalities in "Avatar."

Cameron's childhood inspired some of the characters in The Way of Water

James Cameron continues to bring more and more incredible characters to the big screen. "Avatar: The Way of Water" continues that trend, introducing Kiri, Lo'ak, Spider, and many more. When it came to inspiration, the director revealed that many of the new characters included a piece from his personal life.

In an interview with IndieWire, Cameron revealed that while he somewhat relates to his main character, Jake Sully, he actually has a deeper connection with the Sully children, using aspects of his childhood for the characters. "I'm also Kiri. And I'm also Lo-ak. I remember as a kid being the misunderstood artistic teenager of the autocratic engineer father. I don't mean to put my dad down, he put a roof over our heads. He was [a] great dad, in that regard, but he didn't get me at all." Cameron's relationship with his father proved to be a big inspiration for "The Way of Water," as Jake struggles to fully understand his kids as he tries to protect his family. This results in both Lo'ak and Kiri feeling misunderstood and becoming outsiders in the Metkayina water tribe.

Cameron admitted in the interview that it's not just the heroes he sees a bit of himself in either. He acknowledges that some of the villains, like Quaritch and Selfridge (Giovani Ribisi), are "particularly easy to write" because even they drew some inspiration from his personal life. This, of course, bothers Cameron, as no one wants to admit there's a piece of themselves in the villain. "Every writer has aspects of their life that they work out in their characters," he said.