How Much Do You Know About AVATAR?


By: Narra Jackson

4 Min Quiz

Image: The Movie DB

About This Quiz

Show off your knowledge on all things AVATAR

Who was the director for AVATAR?

James Cameron is a Canadian filmmaker and director, but has quite the plethora of accomplishments on top of that. Some of these include philanthropist, engineer, and inventor. He is also notably recognized for being the first human to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench in a submarine called the Deepsea Challenger.


What was the name of the language created for AVATAR?

The answer is Na'vi! The Na’vi language was created totally from scratch by linguist Dr. Paul R. Frommer. James Cameron hired him to construct a language that the actors would be able to pronounce easily, but that did not resemble any single human language. Frommer created around 1000 words.


What year was the original release of AVATAR supposed to be?

James Cameron who is notoriously known for exceeding budgets on his films for special effects had originally planned to have the film completed in 1999. At the time, the special effects he wanted were going to increase the budget to $400 million. No studio was willing to fund the film, and so it was shelved for eight years.


What movie did James Cameron see that convinced him CGI effects were ready to make AVATAR?

James Cameron was so impressed by the CGI effects used to create the character Gollum in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers that he was convinced special effects were ready for his movie AVATAR as well. This was in the year 2002 and it still took another seven long years to complete and release his long-awaited film.


How were Jake's atrophied legs made?

Jake’s atrophied legs were prosthetics cast from the legs of a real paraplegic. Sam Worthington’s (the character Jake in the film) real legs were tucked into the wheelchair and then were digitally removed in post-production.


What percentage of the movie is live action?

The movie had only 40% live action because the other 60% was able to be reproduced using photo-realistic CGI. They were able to re-create this using a technology called "motion capture" technology.


Where did James Cameron take the crew to prepare for the film?

To help the actors prepare for their roles, James Cameron took the cast to Hawaii, where they spent their days trekking through the forests and jungles and living like tribes (building campfires, eating fish, and doing various other outdoor survival activities), in order to get a better sense of what it would be like to live in the jungle on Pandora. He did this because there would not be any actual jungle sets to aid and guide the actors and crew.


What human feature did James Cameron insist the Na'vi people have?

Despite the fact that the Na’vi are not placental mammals, James Cameron insisted from the beginning that Neytiri, the female Na'vi character should have breasts. He insisted this so that she would look hot from a human’s point of view. This in his opinion was crucial to the success and acceptance of the movie as a whole.


What other story features the concept of a "network of trees"

The concept of a network of trees in which minds of the deceased continue to exist appears in several novels of the “Ender” series by Orson Scott Card. The trees in this series are sacred to the native (slightly humanoid) inhabitants, who tolerate the presence of a small human colony in their world until cultural misunderstandings eventually leads to major conflict.


What other film has Sigourney Weaver been in by James Cameron?

Avatar is the first time Sigourney Weaver has appeared in a James Cameron film since Aliens (1986). James Cameron said that he didn’t want to cast her at first, exactly because she was, in his opinion, the safest choice to play the botanist. She won his heart over however, and did a fabulous job of her role in the film.


How many fingers do the Na'vi have?

In the final battle sequence, the Na'vi character Neytiri has a white hand print on her chest as part of her warpaint. The implication is obviously that this handprint must be Jake's because it has five fingers and Na'vi only have four. This shows the connection and commitment to being on the same side these two characters are.


Where did James Cameron get his idea for the film AVATAR?

James Cameron admitted in an interview he got the idea for “Avatar” after watching Disney’s 1995 animated film “Pocahontas”.


What do the Na'vi do while mating?

When Jake is checking out his ponytail, the Dr. Augustine jokes, “Don’t play with that, you’ll go blind.” This was a common phrase taught to adolescent boys (referring to their genitalia) to discourage them from masturbating. We see later in the film that the Na’vi use their ponytails to link their minds while they are mating with one another.


Who was Sigourney Weaver imitating in her Botanist role in the film?

23 years after shooting Aliens, Sigourney Weaver finally appears in another James Cameron film. She commented that on the screen she was just channeling Cameron himself and wanted to portray an idealistic perfectionist with a great heart underneath. Sigourney is wearing a Stanford t-shirt throughout the movie because she attended Stanford in the early 1970s.


What other males were considered for the lead?

One story speculates that not only was Jake Gyllenhaal favored for this role but Matt Damon was as well. Some will say that both actors were too busy filming other movies (Bourne Ultimatum and Prince of Persia) to play this role. Others are quick to say that James Cameron himself wanted an unknown actor and that’s why he chose Sam Worthington.


Where did the design of the Na'vi come from?

The Na'vi design is one of the most striking things about the film AVATAR. The idea actually came from James Cameron's mother. She had a dream about the Na'vi people and relayed the dream to her son. He was so astounded by the concept that he knew he had to make it into a movie.


Who originally auditioned for the role of Jake Sully?

Way before Chris Pratt played the role of Star-Lord in the film Guardians of the Galaxy, he auditioned for the role of Jake Sully. Chris said this was a particularly tough audition and almost caused him to quit acting. He remembers hearing them talk about needing to have that "it" factor and because he didn't get the role he assumed he didn't have it in the eyes of Hollywood.


What was the name of the Na'vi land?

James Cameron is quoted saying "it's kind of like the Garden of Eden, with teeth and claws," about Pandora, the fantastical world the Na'vi inhabited. Pandora has all kinds of strange earth-like features but ultimately Pandora is uninhabitable for humans.


What character from Aliens was not allowed in Avatar?

Michael Biehn was considered for the role of Miles Quatrich in the film. After meeting with James Cameron three times and even seeing some of the 3D footage, Cameron decided not to have him in the film because he didn't want viewers to think it was Aliens all over again.


What is the name of the female lead actress?

Zoe Saldana was born in 1978 and unlike her larger than life character in the film AVATAR she is only 5"7". Not only is she known for her acting skills but she is also a professional dancer.


What was the estimated cost of AVATAR?

The alleged budget for this film was $280,000,000. This makes AVATAR one of the most expensive films ever made.


What year does the movie presumably take place?

Although the year the movie takes place is never stated, there are scenes where Jake Sully is recording his video log, his log shows us that it is in fact the year 2154.


How much did AVATAR gross in the box office?

Early on the 26th of January, AVATAR became the top-grossing movie of all time at the worldwide box office bringing in an estimated $1.844 billion in ticket sales. This pushed the previous record holder (also a James Cameron film), Titanic to number two with $1.843 billion.


What were the promotional items shipped to cinemas called?

Promotional items were shipped to cinemas under the code name "Project 880." Also interestingly, the film was shipped in the UK in two parts, the first part being reels 1-5, and the second part were reels 6-10 which came a day after the first set. These reels were shipped under the code name "Redbird."


What were the original names for Neytiri & Jake?

In the original script Neytiri's name was supposed to be Zuleika, and Jake Sully's name was supposed to be Josh Sully. There is only speculation as to why they ended up changing them.


Where was Sam Worthington living at the time he auditioned?

Sam Worthington was broke and living in his car at the time of the audition. Luckily for him, James Cameron wanted an inexperienced and unknown actor. He wanted "a quality that is really real." He wanted Worthington because he felt that he was the kind of guy you'd go to the bar with and grab a beer.


How long did the movie take to make?

From pre-production to release, the movie took four years to make. Interestingly to appease 20th Century Fox, Cameron promised to forgo his director's fee if Avatar flopped.


Why were the Na'vi people blue?

Cameron wanted to create a conceptual parallel with traditional Hindu depictions of God. Also, Cameron just liked the color blue.


How long did each frame in the film take to prepare post-production?

Each frame in this film, which is only 1/24 of a second, took CGI graphics people a total 47 hours to render and complete. Some of the hardest and most rewarding work these CGI artists ever did.


Where is Sam Worthington from?

Sam Worthington was born in England. He is considered an Australian actor however because he has lived there much of his life. He said in an interview that it was easier to master the Na'vi language than it was for him to master an American accent.


What animals made the predator sounds in the film?

The whooping and cackling sounds that can be heard from the wolf-like predators in Pandora are real. They are actual sounds from real spotted Hyena calls.


How many Avatar films are anticipated to be made in total?

The four Avatar sequels (making five movies in total) will all be filmed simultaneously starting in 2014. We can expect the first sequel to be released in December of 2018.


What does Avatar mean?

Avatar is a Sanskrit word that means "a manifestation of divinity in bodily form." He wanted the idea of being able to live inside an Avatar, seem like a divine gift or manifestation.


Except for Na'vi and humans, how many limbs do all animals in Pandora have?

The other animals in Pandora have six limbs. They didn't want them to be too earth-like so having four was out of the question. Also, scientifically six was the best and next believable number for an alien species. Why didn't the Na'vi have six limbs? Suppose we'll never know.


Who composed the music for the film?

James Horner, who died in a plane crash in California in 2015, said composing the music for Avatar was the most difficult task he has ever done. He also said it was the most rewarding work he has ever done. He was 61 years old when he died.


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