With Avengers: Infinity War just a few days away, Aliens and Terminator director James Cameron took a dig at the superhero genre in an interview with Indiewire, saying that people will tire of comic book movies soon.
“Not that I don’t love the movies. It’s just, come on guys, there are other stories to tell besides hyper-gonadal males without families doing death-defying things for two hours and wrecking cities in the process. It’s like, oy!” said Cameron, whose thoughts on comic book franchises are well-publicized in the media. Just last year, he found himself in hot water for his comments on Wonder Woman, which he called a "step backwards" for female icons. Director Patty Jenkins fired back, but Cameron still stood by his words.
Cameron also helped revolutionize the cinematic experience in 2009 with Avatar by bringing us to the alien world of Pandora in glorious 3-D. Almost a decade has passed and we've gotten no sequels, but a slew of news announcements about how epic, groundbreaking, amazing the follow-ups (written and directed by Cameron, of course) will be.
The world of theater-going has changed in the intervening years, and people are somewhat sick of "Real 3-D" that Avatar helped make a case for; nearly every film since 2009 has been converted to the format, and while Cameron's ambitious works are definitely meant to be enjoyed in more than one dimension, those that don't gain anything from the conversion have made audiences jaded about shelling out more money for something that doesn't add much to the overall experience.
But Cameron is now comparing the Avatar sequels to the first two Godfather projects made by Francis Ford Coppola. The Godfather and its second part are considered master classes in filmmaking, and The Godfather Part II was the first sequel ever to win Best Picture, at the 47th Academy Awards in 1975. So how does an epic science fiction movie compare to a Mafia drama from 40 years ago?
“It’s a family drama, so it’s The Godfather," the director told Deadline recently. "Obviously a very different genre [and] a very different story, but I got intrigued by that idea, so that’s really what it is. It’s a generational family saga very different than the first film. Now, it’s the same type of settings and the same sort of respect for that shock of the new that we want to show you things that not only that you haven’t seen, but you haven’t imagined."
Avatar 2 is going to bring back the beloved (and hated) characters from the first movie but put a stronger emphasis on the younger generation, added Cameron, who said:
"It’s a continuation of the same characters but what happens when warriors, willing to go on suicide charges and leap off cliffs on to the backs of big orange Toruks, grow up and have their own kids. Now the kids are the change makers. It’s interesting. Everyone is either a parent or they had parents, at the very least. If you look at the big successful franchises now, they are pretty much uninterested in it. So this could be the seeds of utter damnation and doom for the project, or could be the thing that makes it stand apart and continue to be unique. Nobody knows until you make the movie and put it out. Anyone who thinks this is easy or they are just printing money over there at the Avatar studio, it doesn’t work that way.”
Avatar 2 is slated for a theatrical release on December 18, 2020, and will star the returning cast of Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver (although her character died in the first movie), and Giovanni Ribisi. Kate Winslet joins the cast in her first reunion with Cameron since Titanic. But the adventure won't end with just one sequel; Cameron has three more coming after that.