James Cameron explains why Avatar isn’t a typical superhero story. As a franchise, Avatar centers around Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña), and their family as they navigate the alien world of Pandora while human colonizers try to steal their lands and mine their resources. With Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) desperately trying to both destroy the natural environment of Pandora and kill the supposedly treacherous Jake along the way, Jake and Neytiri have to decide when to fight back and when to run for safety.
Having released in 2009, a year after the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched with Iron Man, Avatar has often drawn comparisons with superhero flicks. However, Cameron insists that Avatar is nothing like them.
In an interview with B TV, Cameron explains that Avatar is much more consistent, thanks to featuring one overall villain and plot line. While some superhero movies do retain a villain over two installments, including Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Avatar will ensure that it features the same antagonist in every single film. Check out Cameron’s quote below:
“It’s not like a superhero story where there’s a new villain with every film. Same guy, right? Same adversary through the whole thing. But how he evolves is also very interesting once we bring in additional adversaries as we go along. Additional adversaries and additional allies.”
Why Miles Quaritch Is An Important Villain In The Avatar Series
While Quaritch is a consistent villain that haunts the lives of the Na’vi, he is typically at his most interesting when he stands as a representative for humanity. Sully, once a human, defected to the Na’vi and left his humanity behind, while Quaritch remains firmly entrenched in his Earthly roots, going so far as to kidnap his Na’vi-raised son, Spider (Jack Champion), from his adoptive parents. The contrast between the two characters is what makes their conflict interesting, and it makes for a conflicting fight as human audiences are compelled to cheer for the Na’vi against humanity. While Quaritch’s Avatar is weaker than Sully’s, having the support of the entirety of Earth makes him dangerous all the same, since Sully is still unable to get the Na’vi to unite.
Cameron’s Past Criticism About Superhero Movies, Explained
While the MCU heads into Phase 5 and continues its Multiverse Saga, DC Studios is currently working to revamp its production under new its new co-heads, James Gunn and Peter Safran. Though excitement is building among both fanbases, Cameron has never been a fan of modern superhero blockbusters, as he sees them as repetitive and overly macho productions. Of course, the director was never entirely opposed to superhero movies, as newly revealed concept art from Cameron’s unreleased Spider-Man proves that he did once have an interest in directing a Marvel product of his own.
Yet his critique has proven salient at certain points. Marvel and DC movies tend to have a serious villain problem, since few of their villains are actually compelling antagonists and some draw outright ridicule. Having several movies to flesh out a villain can offer some personality traits that can make them more sympathetic, even when they commit horrible crimes. Another common critique by Cameron relates to the treatment of women in superhero movies, as they are often limited to secondary roles with little development. He has even compared how Marvel and DC depict their female characters to Avatar: The Way of Water‘s women. Cameron has his gripes with superhero movies, and with Avatar, he’s aiming to create the exact type of franchise he wishes to see in Hollywood.More: Avatar 2’s Jake Actor Is The Biggest Winner Of The Movie’s Many Delays
Source: B TV