“Cowards Ditched the Papyrus Font”, Fans Call Out James Cameron Over ‘Avatar’ Logo Redesign

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Avatar 2009 poster with logo, Neytiri close up eye

Credit: 20th Century Studios

It’s official — the Avatar franchise is finally undergoing a logo redesign, and the team are getting backlash over it.

Jake Sully Avatar
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Following the announcement of the upcoming theatrical rerelease of James Cameron’s much-lauded film Avatar (2009), the “new and improved” poster for the CGI-heavy flick has been generating some buzz for changing the font of its logo.

It’s all timed very well on The Walt Disney Company’s account, as the movie has been quietly pulled from Disney+ for the rerelease. Between that and the announcement of a potential change in direction, it seems the Avatar franchise is in for a shake-up.

Neytiri Avatar
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Related: Everything You Need to Know About ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’

The Avatar film (and soon, franchise) has long been infamous for its, well, let’s say bold choice of font used in its logo.

After the Saturday Night Live (SNL) sketch featuring Ryan Gosling went viral back in 2017, the Avatar movie’s use of a modified Papyrus font — the free font found on most Windows Microsoft Word programs since the early 2000s — has created a sort of endearment towards this much-memed font.

Avatar 2009 logo with Neytiri (left) and Jake Sully (right)
Credit: 20th Century Studios

The Papyrus font has cultivated almost meme status for its overwhelmingly “low-grade” and “low-effort” vibe. As Gosling puts it in the SNL sketch, it does have a tendency to appear in “Hookah bars, Shakira merch, [and] off-brand tees.”

Below is the viral SNL video in question:

Its recent eradication has resulted Avatar fans seriously questioning the team’s creative decision.

The backlash began when director James Cameron recently posted over on Twitter about the 2009 Avatar‘s theatrical rerelease announcement:

We remastered the movie and decided it deserved a new poster…

And users like @sharkosaur were swift to respond with tongue-in-cheek disdain for the Papyrus-axing, tweeting:
cowards ditched the papyrus font

The following may contain offensive language not suitable for younger readers

@lftoverpizzaclub makes a point about how the move was made likely to avoid Gen Z-ers “shredding us on TikTok over it” :

This translates to “we needed to get rid of that f***ing Papyrus font before Gen Z started shredding us on TikTok over it”

And it seems like the critique is getting heated, @glovepatrol adds to the discussion:

Getting rid of the papyrus font for the Avatar rerelease is such an act of profound cowardice

While Patrik Sandberg calls out the “systemic corporate erasure” of the beautiful Papyrus font, and says Cameron and Co. “should have doubled down”:

@JKMemeQueen chimed in with a reference to the viral SNL skit, attaching an image of a drenched Gosling shouting “I KNOW WHAT YOU DID!”:

They’re out here pretending the old papyrus font fiasco never happened…

@CathodeCoaster however stands out among the naysayers, defending Cameron:

What I can appreciate about James Cameron is that he actually takes criticisms under consideration and will adapt if he feels they’re warranted. NDT says Titanic’s stars are off? Enter the 2012 cut. SNL and everyone else made fun of the Papyrus font? Enter the new franchise logo.

Related: ‘Avatar 2’ Footage Leaves Us Wishing James Cameron Would Direct a ‘Star Wars’ Movie

Although the question still stands: is the new font “tribal yet futuristic” enough?

It’s safe to say though, that James Cameron absolutely “knows what he did”.

Are you looking forward to seeing Avatar in theatres again, even if the movie is gone from Disney+? Sound off in the comments below!

Avatar (2009) became iconic to director James Cameron’s repertoire. “Avatar 2”, or officially, Avatar: The Way of Water, which is slated to release in theaters this holiday season, on December 16, 2022.

Avatar: The Way of Water will star returning leads Zoe Saldaña (Neytiri) and Sam Worthington (Jake Sully), while Sigourney Weaver returns as Kiri, Jake and Neytiri’s adoptive teenage daughter. Also starring are Jemaine Clement as marine biologist Dr. Ian Garvin, Kate Winslet as Ronal, a free diver of the Metkayina, and Stephen Lang returning as series antagonist Colonel Miles Quaritch, whose memories have been inserted into a Na’vi Avatar body following his demise in the first film.

To get your Avatar fix before Avatar: The Way of Water, you can visit Pandora: The World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

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