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According To James Cameron, Avatar Makes More Sense Than Marvel or DC Movies

The legendary director argues that superhero movies lack emotional maturity.


The long-awaited Avatar sequels are heading to theaters his holiday season and The Way of Water press tour is starting off with a new interview from The New York Times. Cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, and Sigourney Weaver are returning 15 years after the original, along with director James Cameron, who is finally on the way to finish the story he set out to tell.

During the interview, Cameron mentioned he wanted to show a new sense of maturity in Jake Sully (Worthington) and Neytiri's (Saldaña) relationship as they built their family. He said that level of maturity is lacking in the characters in the popular Marvel and DC movies saying they were pretty reckless in the first movie, but think of more than themselves this time around.

"Zoe and Sam now play parents, 15 years later," Cameron explained. "In the first movie, Sam's character leaps off his flying creature and essentially changes the course of history as a result of this crazy, almost suicidal leap of faith. And Zoe's character leaps off a limb and assumes there's going to be some nice big leaves down there that can cushion her fall."

The director continued by making the case that responsible parents are exponentially more cautious and have to think about than just what happens to them. "But when you're a parent, you don't think that way. So for me, as a parent of five kids, I'm saying, 'What happens when those characters mature and realize that they have a responsibility outside their own survival?' 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."

There is a case to be made about relationships with parents and children in both Marvel and DC movies, especially with the case of Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) who will include his teen daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) on his adventures starting with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. We also have Chris Hemsworth's Thor becoming a surrogate father in the wake of the events of Love and Thunder. Now, whether or not this will change how Thor approaches his adventures, but given the last scene in Love and Thunder, it's not likely to anytime soon. There's also Tony Stark's overall arc in the Infinity Saga, showing his growth and maturing. The guy who started off with a stripper pole on his private jet is a father by the time of Avengers: Endgame, a development that heavily influences the choices he makes in the film. Ultimately he sacrifices himself so his child and the entire universe can live, taking out Thanos at the same time.

Avatar: The Way of Water opens in theaters nationwide on December 16.

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