In the discussions of major Hollywood franchises, it’s easy for the fans to compare which is more relevant and popular, despite the obvious differences in genres and execution. As the Avatar franchise is about to re-enter the big screen with its second installment, Avatar: The Way of Water, it is being matched up with the non-stop dominance of Marvel and Star Wars in the cinematic landscape.
Avatar director James Cameron told The Hollywood Reporter that it is irrelevant to compare Avatar with the Star Wars and Marvel universes because Avatar is only one movie into its mythology yet.
“There’s skepticism in the marketplace around, ‘Oh, did it ever make any real cultural impact?'” Cameron said. “‘Can anybody even remember the characters’ names?’” If people are less likely to remember Jake Sully than, say, Luke Skywalker, that’s partly because Avatar is only one movie into its mythology,”
He pointed out, “When you have extraordinary success, you come back within the next three years. That’s just how the industry works. 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.”
The 2009 film Avatar remains number one on the list of the highest-grossing films of all time. With the pressure to maintain its reputation, Cameron had second thoughts about pursuing the second film, resulting in its release 13 years later.
“I was actually the one putting the brakes on it and saying, ‘I don’t know if I want to go down this road again. Because of the outsized performance of the original, “we have to, literally, be in the top five grossing films in history to succeed. That’s a silly target.” Cameron narrated.
The Titanic director has been vocal about his real feelings on the Marvel franchise, including the DC universe, citing that it lacks depth and purpose in terms of characterization.
He said to The New York Times in October, “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," Cameron argued.
“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,” he noted.
Avatar: The Way of Water is set 15 years after the first Avatar film, with Jake Sully and Neytiri returning as parents to Kiri, their adopted teenage daughter. It will premiere in theaters on December 16, 2022. It will be followed by sequels scheduled for December 20, 2024, December 18, 2026, and December 22, 2028, respectively.
Also Read: Where Can I Watch Avatar: The Way of Water?