James Cameron's Avatar is one of the most iconic sci-fi films which has been breaking records across the globe. The audience was bowled by Cameron’s vision and concept for the franchise, following the release of Avatar in 2009. The film’s premise revolved around Pandora, and its indigenous tribes. Heavy on VFX and sharp writing, Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water have subsequently broken many records over the years and they are dubbed as visual masterpieces.
However, a YouTuber - Sham Sharma who owns the channel ‘The Sham Sharma Show’ - has made a rather unusual claim via a video, hinting at James Cameron might have been inspired by Hindu deities and mythology, and this has ultimately sparked controversial debate on Twitter.
The viral video was titled “Avatar | How India Is Inspiring Hollywood And The World” and it spoke about how the blue people in the films may have been inspired by deities that are depicted with blue bodies - Ram, Krishna, Shiva.
Interestingly, the video also discussed how Indian culture is appropriated by westerners.
To everyone’s surprise, Cameron had previously admitted to the same, however, a few pointed out that the concept of immortality is not exclusive to Hindu mythology.
Avatar is a Sanskrit word which means ‘descent’. In 2010, when James Cameron was in India, he spoke of his love for Hindu mythology and said that he might be been subconsciously inspired by it. The celebrated director shared that he was inspired by the entire Hindu pantheon and had even considered making blue people with multiple limbs but had ultimately decided against it as it might be “too specific".
As per a Mashable report, Cameron said in 2010, "I just have loved everything, the mythology, the entire Hindu pantheon, seems so rich and vivid." He added, "I didn't want to reference the Hindu religion so closely, but the subconscious association was interesting, and I hope I haven't offended anyone in doing so."
Meanwhile, in his interview with Time magazine in 2007, Cameron was asked what is Avatar anyway. Responding to the same, he said, "It's an incarnation of one of the Hindu gods taking a flesh form. In this film what that means is that human technology in the future is capable of injecting a human's intelligence into a remotely located body, a biological body."
However, his recent claims apparently contradicted his statements from 2010 as the director said, that the idea of Avatar came to him in a dream when he was 19 years old.
"I woke up after dreaming of this kind of bioluminescent forest with these trees that look kind of like fibre-optic lamps and this river that was glowing bioluminescent particles and kind of purple moss on the ground that lit up when you walked on it.’
"And these kinds of lizards that didn't look like much until they took off. And then they turned into these rotating fans, kind of like living Frisbees, and they come down and land on something. It was all in the dream. I woke up super excited and I actually drew it. So I actually have a drawing."