James Cameron Claps Back At Unfavorable Marvel And Avatar Comparison

Film News

It’s hard to believe considering how long we have waited, but the second Avatar movie is only a couple weeks away.  One the one hand, expectations for Avatar: The Way of Water are quite high, considering the original Avatar is the highest grossing movie of all-time. However, there’s also a feeling that Avatar is just no longer culturally relevant in the way that, for example, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is today. James Cameron, unsurprisingly, has zero time for that talk.

It’s a comment that’s been made more than once over the years that while Avatar may be the king of the box office, it hasn’t had the staying power from a cultural standpoint that other massive blockbusters have had. James Cameron is very aware of this talk, he admits to THR that he knows what people are saying about his franchise. He’s well aware that not everybody believes in Avatar, saying…

There’s skepticism in the marketplace around, ’Oh, did it ever make any real cultural impact?‘Can anybody even remember the characters’ names?’

It’s become something of a joke, but a year or two ago it’s very possible that a lot of people who saw the first Avatar didn’t remember a lot about it. With the film readily available on Disney+, and being re-released in theaters earlier this year, it’s likely that most fans are now back up to speed, but it’s possible that decisions like the Avatar re-release were specifically made to make sure people remembered the events of the first movie, potentially making them more likely to go see the sequel.

James Cameron acknowledges that the Avatar franchise took a lot longer to come back to the screen than your average successful tentpole project. Certainly something like the MCU is going to feel more relevant right now, because Marvel has produced so many movies in the time since the first Avatar, whereas Cameron has only had the one movie. He continues… 

When you have extraordinary success, you come back within the next three years. That’s just how the industry works. You come back to the well, and you build that cultural impact over time. Marvel had maybe 26 movies to build out a universe, with the characters cross-pollinating. So it’s an irrelevant argument. We’ll see what happens after this film.

Avatar will certainly have its chance to become a bigger part of the culture. Avatar: The Way of Water is coming in December but we know that Avatar 3 will also arrive after that. By the time the one movie has become a trilogy, like so many franchises do, perhaps things will have changed.  

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