If James Cameron is going to do one thing, it’s praise his Avatar movies while shading other films – especially the work of Marvel and other superhero brands.
During a recent interview ahead of this month’s Avatar: The Way of Water release, the conversation about visual effects came into play, and the legendary filmmaker took the time to set the record straight about his place in the VFX hierarchy.
Cameron started the interview with ComicBook.com by shutting down any fan wars by saying he was “not going to diss” the films of Marvel or DC. “I love those movies,” he’d said. “Let’s just get that off the table.”
He even highlights superhero films for positively impacting the art of digital effects. “Obviously, the big comic book superhero films have been driving the sheer volume of the industry, and the rising tide of technique raises everybody together. It gives you higher quality artists. You’ve got more tools and plug-ins and code. You’ve got more talented people writing code, and simulations, and all that sort of thing out there. Then, as we’re putting our team together, and as Weta Digital is constantly having new hires, it’s coming out of that pool, so it improves everything together.”
But in true James Cameron fashion, the filmmaker took time to ensure readers knew he had the superior work. He claims that Marvel hasn’t touched what he’s done, even pointing out the motion-capture work for Josh Brolin’s Avengers villain Thanos as an example.
“Weta Effects, as it’s now known, is the best. Right? I mean, ILM does great work, but when it comes to the kind of emotive facial stuff that we’re doing…I mean, Thanos? Come on. Give me a break,” Cameron said. “You saw this [new Avatar] movie. It’s not even close.”
If you look at awards, Cameron could be onto something; the pioneering filmmaker has won five VFX Oscars, including for the original Avatar, while Marvel Studios has zero wins with over ten nominations and has even come in for criticism this year from those within the VFX industry for the increasingly unrealistic demands it places on artists.
SEE ALSO: First reactions to Avatar: The Way of Water call it “mind-blowing” and “a sincere, stunning epic”
We shall see who leads the pack this year with VFX awards as Avatar: The Way of Water will likely face off with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at the upcoming Academy Awards.
Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, “Avatar: The Way of Water” begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.
Avatar: The Way of Water is directed by James Cameron and sees Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Matt Gerald, Dileep Rao, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, and Sigourney Weaver all reprising their roles from the 2009 blockbuster, while new additions to the cast include Kate Winslet, Oona Chaplin, Cliff Curtis, Britain Dalton, Filip Geljo, Jamie Flatters, Bailey Bass, Trinity Bliss, Jack Champion, Duane Evans Jr., Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Keston John, and CJ Jones.
Return to Pandora when Avatar: The Way of Water is released in cinemas on December 16th, 2022.