James Cameron says the inspiration and “imagery” for some of his greatest films came to him in his dreams.
The Hollywood director said humans “always tell each other stories” at night and that a screenwriter’s job is to find a way to “formalise” those stories.
It precedes the release of Avatar: The Way Of Water, the highly anticipated sequel to Cameron’s 2009 sci-fi epic.
Asked on The One Show about finding inspiration in dreams, he replied, “(yes), Terminator, dreams, Avatar… I just think dreams are my own private streaming service that runs nightly for free.
“I guess I do a lot of work in my dreams and I see a lot of images, sometimes they get up and sometimes they write it down.
“With some of the stuff for Avatar when I was in college, I jumped in and did paintings…so it’s been going on for a while, no.”
The Way Of Water will see the return of characters Jake Sully and Neytiri, played by Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana respectively, along with their new family.
Previously released trailers showed underwater scenes featuring fantastical creatures resembling colorful jellyfish and great horned whales.
“I’ve always dreamed of being underwater with amazing animals swimming and that kind of stuff, so it’s just kind of working on all of these subconscious images,” Cameron told The One Show.
“I think we’re all screenwriters in our heads every night. We all tell stories, one part of our brain shows off to the other part of the brain.
“I think the writers just find a way to formalize that and get it out on paper.”
When asked if the wait for the third Avatar movie will last another 13 years, he added, “I hope not.”
He added that all the footage for the film had been captured, but suggested that post-production could take around two years.
It comes as Cameron and the cast of its Avatar sequel kicked off their global press tour with a photocall in central London.
Saldana, Kate Winslet and Sigourney Weaver were among the stars who posed for photos on the blue carpet on Sunday.
Avatar: The Way Of Water is set to hit theaters on December 16.
The world premiere will take place on Tuesday December 6 at Leicester Square in London.