And he is right. The best stories will continue to attract talent to make them and audiences to see them. It sounds clichéd to say it all starts with the script, but perhaps that has never been so relevant as now. Avatar, after all, is a good story rich with detail and flourishes from Cameron’s imagination. The audience has responded.
This is both comforting for writers and a challenge. I personally know no-one that would have spent time writing an Avatar-type story - starting with me. Too much like Pocahontas, too mass market, characters that are just on the wrong side of corny; yet Cameron pulled it off very well. It's easy to get distracted by discussions about the budget. "Avatar" connects on a more basic level. And if it really is all about the script, it is up to us writers to write scripts that connect with larger audiences.