To say this story is depressing is an understatement.
I am probably one of the biggest James Cameron fans you are going to find. I've seen all of his movies (multiple times) and pretty much read every book written about the guy. Safe to say, he is THE MAN to me.
That's why it brings me such disappointment to write this article which basically explains - according to Cameron himself - that he will no longer make any other movies in his lifetime except Avatar films. Yup. Read for yourself via the New York Times:
“I’ve divided my time over the last 16 years over deep ocean exploration and filmmaking. I’ve made two movies in 16 years, and I’ve done eight expeditions. Last year I basically completely disbanded my production company’s development arm. So I’m not interested in developing anything. I’m in the Avatar business. Period. That’s it. I’m making Avatar, Avatar 2, Avatar 3, maybe Avatar 4, and I’m not going to produce other people’s movies for them. I’m not interested in taking scripts. And that all sounds I suppose a little bit restricted, but the point is I think within the Avatar landscape I can say everything I need to say that I think needs to be said, in terms of the state of the world and what I think we need to be doing about it. And doing it in an entertaining way. And anything I can’t say in that area, I want to say through documentaries, which I’m continuing.”
I am speechless. Really. This man is such a gifted filmmaker and to have him say he will solely focus on making Avatar feature films the rest of his life is heartbreaking.
I know a lot of people love Avatar. That's pretty much an understatement too considering it is the highest grossing film in box office history. I saw it 3x in theaters myself. But I will let you all in on a little secret that I think many have realized since it came out in 2009: it is not a great movie.
Avatar was a film that made its money on its groundbreaking special effects, not its story. I've seen it a few times on television since it came out, and I'm sorry, it's a very weak film. The story is thin and the plot is extremely cliché. You know how you know a movie withstands the test of time and ages well? When you see it on TV in passing and have to stop and watch it for the remaining scene or the remainder of the film because you know it's so good. The Godfather is one of those films. So is Jaws. And The Dark Knight, of course. But I'm sorry, Avatar is not one of those films. It's too much style over substance. Period.
Now James Cameron will focus his attention on bringing us more Avatar over the next decade, decade and a half, thinking his sci-fi sequels are the most anticipated thing of all-time. They're not. By the time Avatar 2 comes out, it will be a full 7 years (2016) since the original was released. It will not be as successful, because Avatar will not age well. It will lose its luster over the next few years. Trust me.
James Cameron has always been an extremely intelligent guy, but he's making the stupidest mistake of his life.