Fans may be dreading the end of an era for Marvel films with the approach of Avengers: Infinity War, but director James Cameron is hoping audiences are finally tiring of cinematic superheroes.
Cameron has been one of Hollywood's most bankable directors over his 40-year career. He made his name on projects like the second entry in the Alien franchise, first two entries in the Terminator franchise - he's a producer on the upcoming sequel starring Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger - and Titanic. His most recent film, 2009's Avatar, remains the highest grossing movie of all time. Very few directors have had their finger on the pulse of what audiences want over the last four decades like Cameron.
And yet Cameron has clearly grown weary of the superhero craze. In an interview with IndieWire, Cameron suggests it's time for audiences to move on from what he perceives to be overblown, macho comic book stories.
“I’m hoping we’ll start getting ‘Avenger’ fatigue here pretty soon. Not that I don’t love the movies. It’s just, come on guys, there are other stories to tell besides hyper-gonadal males without families doing death-defying things for two hours and wrecking cities in the process. It’s like, oy!”
This isn't the first time Cameron has voiced his distaste with certain aspects of superhero films lately. Last year he suggested Wonder Woman was an anti-feminist film that objectified women, much to the surprise of director Patty Jenkins, who issued a classy rebuttal to that eye raising opinion.
Perhaps Cameron is still harboring some bitterness over the fact he never got to direct his Spider-Man film so many years ago. But he also may have a point; CGI-riddled, big budget filmmaking that on some level exists primarily to promote the inevitable sequels is probably not a model that can be sustained forever. Franchises outside of Marvel have struggled to navigate those waters, often overestimating audience's desire for an endless string of sequels of generally diminishing quality. Cameron's next big screen project is slated to be Avatar 2, which he plans to follow with Avatar 3, 4, and 5, which he has compared to The Godfather.
Cameron's comments came while promoting his upcoming docuseries AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, where he'll be discussing aspects of the genre via interviews with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, and George Lucas. Among the topics he'll be discussing is the difference between "escapist fun" like Guardians of the Galaxy and "scientifically responsible" fare like Interstellar and The Martian. It will be interesting to see where Cameron imagines his own films fall within those classifications.
To Cameron's credit, he does acknowledge that it's possible he doesn't understand where big screen genre films are at the moment, as he's been too immersed in crafting his handful of Avatar films over the last few years to follow current trends. And yet that self professed ignorance has never stopped him from voicing some provocative opinions.