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“I’ve spent thousands of hours under water”: Despite Three $2 Billion Movies, James Cameron Admitted He Could Have Never Directed Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman

james cameron aquaman

James Cameron is a god among directors, giving three films that are some of the top-grossing films of all time. The man is a genius and sure knows how to make a movie. The director has three films in his hat that made more than two billion in Box Office collections.

He is reputed worldwide and wishes to continue the Avatar series, with Avatar 3 and 4 already in works. Even though there is news that Avatar 5 will be made too, Cameron believes he may not be around for that long. However, in an interview when asked about his thoughts on Aquaman, the director confessed that he could never direct something like that.

James Cameron could never direct Aquaman

James Cameron
James Cameron

Movies shot underwater and laden with heavy CGI and special effects are no news for Cameron. He has devoted his life to underwater films and those with CGI – Titanic, Avatar, and now Avatar: The Way of Water. When the director was asked about Aquaman, a film also shot underwater and with CGI, the director was cutthroat. He clearly admitted that he could never direct something like that even though he enjoyed watching the film.

“I think it’s great fun. I never could have made that film, because it requires this kind of total dreamlike disconnection from any sense of physics or reality. People just kind of zoom around underwater, because they propel themselves mentally, I guess, I don’t know. But it’s cool! You buy it on its own terms.”

He continued,

“I’ve spent thousands of hours underwater. While I can enjoy that film, I don’t resonate with it because it doesn’t look real.”


Cameron’s criticism for the film is that it does not look, which now makes more sense than three years ago. His film Avatar 2 is all about the adventures in the ocean, the characters interact with the ocean and it’s inhabitants in a humane way. However, the element of supernatural and superhuman abilities remains a common thread between Aquaman and Avatar 2.

Also Read:“The guy’s had leukemia four f*cking times”: Aquaman Star Jason Momoa Is Scared for His Friend Travis Snyder’s Life, Asks His Fans For Support

James Cameron feels that Aquaman did not respect the ocean

Jason Mamoa as Aquaman
Jason Mamoa as Aquaman

The director did not only point out the lack of realism in the film but also the lack of morality. Cameron felt that Aquaman did not respect the ocean or acknowledged the depleting condition of the ocean and other water bodies, that are being treated as dumping ground by humans. He said,

“And by the way, [Aquaman] doesn’t help us with our issues of actually understanding the ocean and exploring the ocean and preserving the ocean — though they did throw in a couple things like whales and things like that to remind us we are using the ocean as a garbage dump, so I applaud the film for that. Yeah, I couldn’t have made that movie. We’re doing a lot of underwater in the Avatar sequels and it’s going to have such a different feel.”

Aquaman (2018)
Aquaman (2018)

Aquaman‘s underwater sequences were shot on a sound stage and then enhanced with computer effects in post-production. James Cameron pioneered a never-before-seen technology for the Avatar sequels, allowing him to conduct motion-capture cinematography underwater.

Also Read: Marvel’s Wonder Man and DC’s Aquaman Star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Reportedly Starring in Another Multi-Billion Dollar Franchise – Damon Lindelof’s Star Wars Movie

EW asked Aquaman‘s director James Wan to comment on James Cameron’s views on his film and how felt about the comments stated by Cameron. The director frankly admitted that he is a fan of Cameron and that their films are vastly different.

“If anything, I think [what Cameron is doing is] amazing. Rule No. 1 is don’t ever compete with James Cameron. He’s in a whole different game of his own. And No. 2, our movie is such a different-looking film.”

Avatar: The Way of Water
Avatar: The Way of Water

After the release of Avatar: The Way of Water, it is evident that the two films deal with water differently. James Cameron captures the element of nature on a larger scale giving it more eminence, whereas Aquaman treats the ocean as one of the set pieces or locations. However, it is unfair to compare the two films as they tell different stories using varied characters.

Also Read:‘So he’s playing Aquaman AND Lobo? I’m confused’: James Gunn Hints Aquaman 3 is Coming as DC Fans Divided Over Dual Jason Momoa DCU Casting

Avatar: The Way of Water has not released on OTT yet. Aquaman is now streaming on HBO Max.

Source: YouTube

Written by Pragya Sancheti

Currently a college student with big aspirations and a ton of assignment. Pursuing Bachelors in Mass Communication and Videography from St. Xavier's. Movies and Pop-culture get me through life.