The director of award-winning movies, James Cameron, has been consistently delivering great cinematic masterpieces since the early ’80s and there has rarely even been a creation of the certified genius that can be chocked off to anything less than absolute success. Whether it be murderous time-traveling cyborg assassin or fated lovers drowning in the sub-zero Atlantic, the director has always delivered visual and narrative delights that to this day remain rewatchable and on top of the favorites list of every movie buff.
However, it is the conscious choice to be so self-assured of his own creations that make James Cameron a little bit of a maverick when it comes to Hollywood’s greatest directors. The praiseworthy genius, when it comes to humility, loses out and makes comments that are inherently ironic, in and of themselves.
James Cameron Joins the Anti-CBM Directors’ Club
For quite a while now, directors like Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino have clearly and verbosely directed their hatred for Marvel and DC creations, levied unwarranted criticism toward these objects that have harbored dreams for billions of fans and brought them immense joy throughout the years. James Cameron, too, has joined the two in their shared hatred for the CBM industry, although with a much lesser degree of animosity. In an interview with The New York Times, the Avatar 2 director claimed:
“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. 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.”
His comment comes in the aftermath of highlighting the character evolution of own protagonists in Avatar and Cameron asks — “What happens when those characters mature and realize that they have a responsibility outside their own survival?”
And even though James Cameron refutes it, characters in superhero films have shown exactly what the director himself has portrayed in Avatar 2 — heroes suffering unspeakable trauma, hanging up their capes and armors to take care of their family, but rising to the occasion when a greater enemy threatens their loved one’s survival.
James Cameron Questions Relatability of Superhero Films
The Marvel and DC films, series, animation, video games, and comics have for decades brought great joy to children and adults alike. Through the darkest of times, these works of will and imagination, have brought great wars, triumphant victories, worthy adversaries, and questionable morality. And through the depictions of these attributes via variable, innumerable characters, these comics, animations, and film and television shows have given joy to billions of fans around the world.
The complexity of comic book movies lies not in their overarching plots which James Cameron claims is about an underdog “going up against some guy that’s trying to conquer the galaxy”. Superhero movies rely on these themes inherently because it aims to inspire — to stand up in the face of great adversity, always come to a friend’s aid, offer a hand to those who need it most, and that good will ultimately triumph in the end. The people who come together to read and watch these creations ultimately become joined in a common narrative, unified in their shared interests, and familial in their shared love for these stories born out of imagination.
So, as far as relatability is concerned, Marvel and DC are perhaps as heroic in their efforts as Cameron’s killer cyborg terminator is.
Avatar: The Way of Water is now playing in theatres worldwide.
Source: The New York Times