By "Titanic" standards, James Cameron's 160-minute-long
And what was left behind was 10 to 12 minutes of motion-captured goodness, as Cameron revealed exclusively to MTV News. Much of the footage focused on the native Na'vi people of Pandora, those sinewy blue aliens that live at one with nature until the resource-plundering humans decide the spot most in need of digging is the place the natives call home.
"It's all wonderful stuff, but it was sort of bogging down the middle section of the movie," Cameron said. "So there's plenty for a value-added DVD experience on this film. Of course, we'll have to go punch it all up and get it all mixed and stuff like that."
An important chunk of those 10-plus minutes is devoted to a trial that Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), who joins the Na'vi through his mind-controlled alien avatar, must pass to truly become one of the clan. It involves a hunt for a Sturmbeest, a sort of colorful, overgrown rhino.
"That was kind of cool," Worthington said. "It was intricately designed."
"It's a creature you no longer see in the movie," Cameron said of the Sturmbeest. "[Sully] has to learn how to hunt through the air and do this incredibly brave thing, and then after the hunt they have this big festival and they dance and there's a drunk scene with [Na'vi member] Tsu'tey, which is Laz Alonso's character, which is actually pretty damn funny."
The deleted scenes also include the introduction of the heads of other Na'vi clans. Speaking with MTV News, Zoe Saldana, who plays Na'vi princess Neytiri, discussed another aspect of the production that she missed seeing in the finished version: the interactions between scientist Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) and the Na'vi people.
"It's the connection that Grace has to the people and how this came to be," the actress said. "That was all in the script. Grace had taught them. She's the reason they speak English. There's a school that she had there. She'd go every single day and she fell in love with these children."
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