Whatever you think of the new Middle-earth fantasy series Rings of Power, it’s undeniable that it was a huge and ambitious undertaking. But, James Cameron thinks the creative route behind Avatar 2 was more difficult.
Rings of Power debuted earlier in the year to streaming service Amazon Prime. It told the story of the Second Age of Middle-earth, focussing on Lord of the Rings characters like Galadriel and Elrond while exploring the hidden rise of Sauron and his creation of the magic rings. It is adapted from the tales told in the appendices of the Lord of the Rings novels, and takes inspiration from other Tolkien texts like The Silmarillion.
Now, James Cameron has compared Avatar 2 to Rings of Power and given the show some mild praise for “multiple storylines and interesting characters”. However, he has also argued that the creative process behind Avatar 2 was more difficult than for Rings of Power. Speaking to Variety, the science fiction movie director said “If you look at something like Rings of Power, with those multiple storylines and interesting characters, that’s what I was aspiring to.”
He continued “But they had a guide; I didn’t. I had to write my own Silmarillion or Lord of the Rings in the form of notes. But I also didn’t want to do it all alone. I knew that I was going to do multiple movies, so I created a little writers’ room like you would for a TV show.”
Cameron’s suggestion that he created “his own” Silmarillion is certainly eyebrow raising. The Silmarillion provides background and detail to the world of Middle-earth and its epic tales in unparalleled detail, and Tolkien’s world remains one of the richest, most fleshed-out fictional worlds ever to have been created. His argument also suggests that the TV series had it easier creatively because it was able to use that detailed world to base its story off of, which is a suggestion that has some merit.
While it might be a tad fanciful to suggest that Pandora matches the depth of Middle-earth, Cameron’s comments do highlight his ambition for imagination when it comes to Avatar 2, and that’s certainly something worth celebrating. For more on Rings of Power, check out our guide to the Rings of Power season 2 release date, and the Rings of Power cast. Or, if you prefer Pandora check out our guide to the Avatar 2 cast.