James Cameron on why it took long for Avatar sequel: 'People are angsty enough'

Published on Dec 01, 2022 04:22 PM IST

Avatar: The Way of Water is set for release on December 16. The film's director James Cameron spoke about the film and its delayed release.

A still from Avatar; The Way of Water.
A still from Avatar; The Way of Water.

James Cameron is revealing why it took him more than a decade to come up with the sequel to his massively successful first Avatar movie. Now that Avatar: The Way of Water gears up for release, the Academy Award-winning filmmaker is ready with Avatar 3 and 4, but everything depends on the fate of the December 16 release. (Also read: James Cameron calls Avatar heroes more real than superheroes who 'never have kids'; Marvel fans remind him of Iron Man)

When Avatar released in 2009, it turned out to be a huge critical as well as commercial success. The film turned out to become the highest-grossing movie of all time (with a global collection of $2.92 billion) and was nominated for nine Academy Awards. It paved the way for so many films that would dare to experiment with filmmaking techniques, yet James was in no rush to build it into a franchise.

In his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the director reveals, “I started confronting this issue of, ‘Do I even want to make another movie, let alone another Avatar movie?'” James says that the first film was “a movie that’s asking you to cry for a tree,” and how climate change and environmental issues played a huge part into the making of the sequel after so long. “People are angsty enough. We’ll be injecting this film into a marketplace in a different time. And maybe things that were over the horizon in 2009 are upon us now. Maybe it’s not entertainment anymore.” the director said. He further added, “The filmmaker’s role is not to make it all gloom and doom anymore but to offer constructive solutions.”

When asked about the cultural imprint of the first film even after a decade of its release, James Cameron said every film has its own moment, and even though everyone in the industry would expect a sequel much sooner, he has faith in the timing of the sequel. “That’s just how the industry works." said the director. "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.”

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