James Cameron is known for classical drama movies like Titanic or, most recently, elaborate fantasy movies like the Avatar franchise. After a decade, the record-breaking animated movie is finally getting its highly-anticipated sequel — Avatar: The Way of the Water.
With Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana set to reprise their roles from the first film, and three further Avatar movies in the pipeline, it’s not a stretch to say that Cameron is curating a cinematic universe of his own — but in an interview with the New York Times, he had some choice words about certain other cinematic universes: namely, those that surround superhero movies.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Cameron isn’t the only Hollywood bigwig to criticise Marvel and DC movies. In a 2019 interview with Empire (via The Guardian) Martin Scorsese boldly classified DC and Marvel movies as “not cinema.”
He said, “I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema. Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well-made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
We can’t speak for the cinema of human beings, but if you’re anticipating the cinema of the Na’vi, Avatar 2 is released in theatres on December 16, 2022.