James Cameron Takes A Shot At DC and Marvel For How They Treat Their Characters

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James Cameron Takes A Shot At DC and Marvel For How They Treat Their Characters
James Cameron Takes A Shot At DC and Marvel For How They Treat Their Characters

Credit: Avatar

Another filmmaker takes a shot at superhero movies, but this time, it’s James Cameron. Ridley Scott, Martin Scorsese, and Francis Ford Coppola are some of the most iconic directors who haven’t had pleasant things to say about the genre, with the Goodfellas director notably stating that superheroes weren’t cinema.

Understandably, superheroes have dominated the market for over ten years at this point, and filmmakers of this nature made features during a different era of Hollywood movies. For guys like Scorsese, it isn’t particularly easy to greenlight the films that they want to make in this current generation, though there’s no denying that the big reason that the box office is booming is because of superhero films.

Still, filmmakers will take their shots at the genre, and James Cameron now joins the list. The Oscar winner is gearing up to finally release the sequel to Avatar, over ten years later. While discussing Avatar: The Way of the Water, Cameron criticized the characters of both DC and Marvel, notably stating that “they act like they’re in college.”

James Cameron Takes A Shot At DC and Marvel For How They Treat Their Characters

Credit: Ant-Man

“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 told The New York Times. “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.”

This is an odd statement since Marvel and DC films have had heroes with families. Whether it’s Scott Lang (Ant-Man), Tony Stark, Ms. Marvel, Wanda Maximoff (WandaVision), or Shazam, plenty of superhero films have a dynamic that centers around families. Of course, there could be an underlying metaphor that I’m missing here, but Cameron’s point comes across clearly, and this seems more like his opportunity to simply crap on Marvel or DC property.

More importantly, characterization isn’t particularly lost within the superhero genre. Sure, some are considered nothing more than popcorn affairs, but there’s a reason audiences felt a connection to Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, or the original Avengers, and that’s due to the creators doing an excellent job of humanizing these men and women beyond their superhuman strength.

Avatar: The Way of Water

Credit: Avatar: The Way of Water

Cameron goes on an explains that he feels parenthood and children will not only resonate with the actors but the young demographic as well, “I knew as I was writing it that Sam and Zoe were new parents and that this stuff would resonate for them, but if you’re speaking to a young audience, let them feel validated that kids on another planet, 200 years from now, are going through the same crap they’re going through right now.

From a story perspective, Cameron’s point makes sense, but having a family isn’t the only way for audiences to connect with said characters. Whatever the case may be, fans don’t particularly respond well to filmmakers who crap on the superhero genre. Roland Emmerich took a negative approach toward the genre during his press release for Moonfall earlier this year and his film ultimately bombed at the box office by only making $59.1 million worldwide.

It’s not confirmed that pissing off fans of the superhero genre was ultimately the reason audiences stayed away from his latest feature, but it certainly doesn’t help to turn off a demographic that you’re trying to reach. Cameron’s comments aren’t as bad as others in the past, but this shot at Marvel and DC felt unnecessary, especially since it’s clear that he’s wrong here. We’ll see if Avatar: The Way of the Water can light up the box office later this year.

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