This is a list of fun facts, goofs and trivia.
- A casting call was posted on the website of Mali Finn Casting in early December 2005 for the female lead. The casting call was erroneously reported to be for James Cameron's Battle Angel (2011). However, Battle Angel will be the second of the back-to-back Cameron projects with a likely 2013 release.
- Michael Biehn was considered for the role of Miles Quaritch. He met with James Cameron three times and saw some of the 3D footage, but in the end it simply came down to the fact that Cameron didn't want people thinking it was Aliens (1986) all over again, as Sigourney Weaver had already been cast.
- Sigourney Weaver plays a James Cameron persona for her character in this film. Sigourney stated in an interview, "I teased him because to me I'm playing Jim Cameron in the movie as this kind of brilliant, approach-driven, idealistic perfectionist. But that same somebody has a great heart underneath. So I have to say I was always kind of channeling him."
- James Cameron originally attempted to get this film made in 1999 as his immediate follow-up to Titanic (1997). However, at the time, the special effects he wanted for the movie ran the proposed budget up to $400 million. No studio would fund the film, and it was subsequently shelved for almost ten years.
- The movie is 40% live action and 60% photo-realistic CGI. Motion capture technology was used for the CGI scenes.
- Seeing the character of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) convinced James Cameron that CGI effects had progressed enough to make this film.
- Promotional items were shipped to cinemas under the name "Project 880".
- The film was shipped in two parts in the UK, first part was reels 1-5 and reels 6-10 came the following day. It was shipped under the codename "Redbird".
- To help the actors prepare for their roles, director James Cameron took the cast and crew to Hawaii, where they spent their days trekking through the forests and jungles and living like tribes (building campfires, eating fish, etc), in order to get a better sense of what it would be like to live and move around in the jungle on Pandora, since there would not be any actual jungle sets to aid and guide the actors and crew. Zoe Saldana even dressed as a warrior during these journeys; complete with an alien tail symbolic of the one her character has in the movie. These hikes were only done during the daytime and the cast and crew spent their nights at a Four Seasons hotel.
- As of December 2009, with an alleged budget of US $280,000,000 (estimated), this is one of the most expensive movies ever made.
- Sam Worthington appeared in Terminator Salvation (2009), the fourth Terminator movie. His appearance in this non-Terminator movie is notable as James Cameron directed The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), T2 3-D: Battle Across Time (1996) as well has having being a writer (creator of characters) on other Terminator franchise video-games and TV episodes.
- First time that Sigourney Weaver has appeared in James Cameron film since Aliens (1986), a gap of twenty-three years.
- Avatars have five fingers and toes on their hands and feet, whereas the Na'vi only have four. Avatars also have eyebrows, which the Na'vi lack.
- Director Trademark: [James Cameron] [feet] Close-up of Jake's feet when he moves them around in the soil, and close-up of Quaritch's feet as he gives the safety brief.
- In much of the movie, Sigourney Weaver's avatar is wearing a Stanford shirt. Weaver attended Stanford in the early 1970s.
- According to the read out and his statement made during the last log entry, Jake's birthday is August 24, though it is unclear whether he means his "human" birthday or his Na'vi rebirth.
- The spiral-shaped, retracting zooplantae that Jake encounters early in the film, helicoradians, are presumably based off the Christmas Tree Worm, a marine invertebrate which is commonly kept in reef aquariums.
- The Na'vi language was created entirely from scratch by linguist Paul Frommer, who was hired by James Cameron to construct a language that was easily pronounceable by the actors, but lacking any resemblance or influence from any single human language. Around 500 words were created.
- Though he is not credited in the film, several of the locations have been identified as looking remarkably similar to paintings by English surrealist Roger Dean, most notably his works "Floating Islands" and "Arches".
- The Thai version of movie translates the word "Marine" into "Navi". (The Thai word for Marine is actually "Na-vig-ga-yo-tin", but to make voice over synced, the translator shortened it to "Navi".) So in Thai, Jake Sully is a "Navi" who becomes a "Na'vi".
- Even though the year the movie takes place is never stated, scenes of Jake Sully recording his video log show that the year is 2154.
- The biggest opener in the USA for a original film, previously held by The Incredibles (2004).
- The first James Cameron film not to feature any of his "regulars" (Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein or Arnold Schwarzenegger).
- Is the fifth film to gross 1 billion dollars (unadjusted for inflation).
- Tour Length: When Jake is doing his first video log, Norm says that one of the benefits of keeping a video log will be to keep him sane during his 6 year tour of duty. This would be about right if there were at least two ships on the Earth/Pandora Route. When Jake wakes up from cryo, the med tech tells everyone that they have been under for 5 years, 9 months and 22 days and when Quaritch tells Jake he has approval for his legs and can now send him home it is 3 months (plus a bit) later, so the ship sticks around for at least 3 to 4 months before retuning.
- 26 Jan 2010 - Sometime early on the 26th of Jan, Avatar became the top-grossing movie of all time at the worldwide box office with almost $1.844 billion (U.S.) in ticket sales, pushing the previous record holder, Cameron's Titanic, to number 2 with $1.843 billion.
- "Ninat is the best singer"- there is an Israeli singer named Ninet Tayeb, who won the Israeli version of "American Idol" (Kokhav Nolad- a star being born in Hebrew). The Hebrew translations were written in a way that can be read as both "Ninat is the best singer" and "Ninet is the best singer".
- Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal were originally considered to fill the role of Jake Sully. However, Damon turned it down due to a schedule conflict with The Bourne Ultimatum, and Gyllenhaal chose to appear in Prince of Persia instead.
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers)
- At some point Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) can be seen in the laboratory filling a pipette and subsequently holding it upside-down (which would cause the liquid to run into the apparatus and is strictly to be avoided).
- During the final assault on the Na'vi Tree of Souls, when all the aircraft take off at 0600 hours, there is a short clip of soldiers and officers cheering the attacking force on from the command room. During this cheer, one of the soldiers on the bottom left of the screen has his hat blown off by the vehicles' downdrafts. He looks around briefly to see if anyone noticed, then continues cheering.
- During the Destruction of Hometree, the Na'vis' arrows failed to penetrate any of the human vehicles' windshields. However, during the final battle, the Na'vi arrows successfully penetrate the windshields. This is possible because the attackers, flying on their ikran, add the airspeed to the acceleration from the bowstring, which gives arrows additional velocity. Also, they are firing from near point-blank range (as opposed to arcing shots from the ground). Furthermore, the shape of the Scorpion and Samson windshields differ from those found on the Dragon Assault Ship. The windshields of the Dragon's flight-deck feature compound curved surfaces, making penetration harder to achieve, while the smaller VTOL craft have flat windshields that are much easier to break. (The first time the Na'vi attack the humans, none of the arrows that hit the Dragon Assault Ship penetrate. In the final battle, only rounds from Trudy Chacon's Samson 16 penetrate the Dragon.)
- When Quaritch is talking to Jake Sully whilst climbing into a Amplified Mobility Platform (AMP) suit, a red tag is visible hanging off its right arm, reading 'Remove before Operation'. Quaritch does not remove the tag, nor does anyone else, before he begins to operate the AMP. It is only when the AMP walks away that the tag has mysteriously disappeared.
- In a scene at the Ops Halo Station, Jake Sully takes his hands from his wheelchair and interlocks his fingers, resting on the table. In the next shot, his hands are back on his wheelchair and move to grip the table's edge.
- When Jake Sully is meeting with his superiors around the giant 3-D map of Hometree, and Parker makes a funny quip about monkeys, Sully's arms appear crossed and uncrossed between camera angles. From the angle where his arms are uncrossed, he can then be seen crossing them.
- Neytiri lets go of Jake's arm twice when the seeds of the sacred tree land on him.
- Although Jake Sully's avatar goes to sleep at night, thus enabling Jake to disconnect from it, all of the debriefings are shown to be in daylight, which wouldn't be possible had Jake actually returned to his avatar in order to learn the Na'vi ways. However, neither his location on Pandora, nor his distance from Hometree are directly specified. Considering that the size of Pandora is almost equivalent to that of Earth (and if it rotates at the same speed that the Earth does,) the days would be relatively the same. Therefore, he could be located halfway across the globe during the daytime, while his avatar is located on the other side of the globe at night. There is also some question about the range of the human-avatar link.
- Sully shoots an animal with an arrow. When he goes over to the animal's body, he runs from the opposite side of where the arrow went.
- Grace was injured in the stomach as the group escaped from the military base. However, when she is lying on the Tree of Souls, there are no scars or blood shown in that area. It is also unlikely that the bullet could have been removed, as neither Jake, Norm, nor Trudy have the necessary advanced surgical knowledge.
- When Jake is consulting the Tree of Souls before the main battle, his queue moves from behind his back to the front of his right shoulder (just before he connects with the Tree). Later, when Neytiri talks to him, his braid moves from his front to his back with no indication of him flipping it back or swatting it behind him.
- When Dr. Augustine goes to Selfridge about Jake, after he first arrives, she stands with her hands behind her back. When the camera cuts, her hands are at her sides.
- When the ISV Venture Star is approaching Pandora the shuttles are facing the engines on the forward end. A short while later when the ship is in orbit they are facing the sail on the aft end, but the docks between the ship and the shuttles are apparently unable to swivel.
IMDB.com - Avatar trivia
IMDB.com - Avatar goofs