In anticipation of his sequel to the highest grossing movie of all time, “Avatar,” director James Cameron got real about his competition with the DC Universe and Marvel Studios franchises.
In an interview with “The New York Times,” Cameron slyly diminished the creativity of the studios behind movies like “Batman vs. Superman” and “Avengers,” respectively.
He shared that his work is unique, as he does “the thing that other people aren’t doing.”
“When I look at these big, spectacular films — I’m looking at you, Marvel and DC — it doesn’t matter how old the characters are, they all act like they’re in college. They have relationships, but they really don’t,” he said.
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“They never hang up their spurs because of their kids. The things that really ground us and give us power, love, and a purpose? Those characters don’t experience it, and I think that’s not the way to make movies,” he said of his direct competitors.
Cameron’s movie, “Avatar,” remains the number one highest grossing film of all time; however, that does not mean his work has not been nearly dethroned.
With the number one and two highest grossing films in “Avatar” and “Titanic” back in 2019, Cameron’s reign was suddenly derailed by Marvel Studios with their film “Avengers: End Game.” It surpassed “Titanic” in box office returns, making Cameron’s blockbuster films sandwich a Marvel creation, at the number one and three spot.
Speaking of how his main characters, fronted by Zoe Saldaña and Sam Worthington, have developed since the first film, Cameron said, “Zoe and Sam now play parents, 15 years later. In the first movie, Sam’s character leaps off his flying creature and essentially changes the course of history as a result of this crazy, almost suicidal leap of faith. And Zoe’s character leaps off a limb and assumes there’s going to be some nice big leaves down there that can cushion her fall. But when you’re a parent, you don’t think that way.”
Being a parent himself, Cameron shared, “I’m saying, ‘What happens when those characters mature and realize that they have a responsibility outside their own survival?’”
He also suggested that adding the parental element to his films is what motivates an actor to continue playing a role.
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“The one thing I’ve learned is that you’ve got to have something that the actors can get their teeth into, something that they can draw on from their life experience. I knew as I was writing it that Sam and Zoe were new parents and that this stuff would resonate for them, but if you’re speaking to a young audience, let them feel validated that kids on another planet, 200 years from now, are going through the same crap they’re going through right now.”
“Avatar: The Way of Water” will be released later this year.