James Cameron (see 40-minute video below) was interviewed by James Murdoch at the ongoing Abu Dhabi Media Summit and reveals that one unnamed Twentieth Century Fox executive wanted to cut out the hit movie’s environmental message. Cameron says: “We were worried going into Avatar that the environmental themes — that went to a spiritually deep profound level — would actually hurt the film. Somebody at Fox, not there now, said, ‘Is there any way to reduce this New Age, tree-hugging, hippy crap?’” The film’s environmental theme was certainly on-message as far as Rupert’s son is concerned: James Murdoch is known for his advocacy of green issues.

At one point in the wide-ranging conversation, Murdoch asks if he can reveal what Avatar cost to make. “You’ll get in trouble with your dad,” replies Cameron. “That’s exactly right,” laughs Murdoch. Both men tub-thumped 3D, which they agreed would become indistinguishable from reality. And Cameron says he plans to go down to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific in his own specially-built submarine in a year’s time. He’s already said he wants to film parts of Avatar 2 while 36,000 feet down in the world’s deepest ocean spot.