Avatar creator James Cameron garnered attention early this week for offering his own opinion of the J.J. Abrams directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, sharing an unpopular, if honest, opinion about the seventh installment in the Star Wars film franchise.
The Force Awakens was the first film to not bear the name George Lucas in the credits as either director, producer, or writer, and that may add to Cameron’s opinion of The Force Awakens, but that doesn’t make James’ criticisms any less valid.
Avatar Creator James Cameron Calls Out J.J. Abrams For Lacking Depth With Star Wars: The Force Awakens
As The Hollywood Reporter revealed this past week, James Cameron isn’t a big fan of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but the director’s blatant disregard for J.J. Abrams’ storytelling style may be just what fans of the franchise need to put the Star Wars saga in perspective. When looked at with a critical eye, it isn’t difficult to recognize that The Force Awakens is as unoriginal as it is lacking in compelling suspense. As Cameron points out, we’ve seen this story before, only, in this case, the father was the idealistic hero and the son played the villain.
“I have to say that I felt that George’s group of six films had more innovative visual imagination, and this film was more of a retrenchment to things you had seen before, and characters you had seen before, and it took a few baby steps forward with new characters,” says Cameron.
Even in saying that much, James reveals that he’s holding his tongue and limiting how much criticism he offers on The Force Awakens, because, regardless of whatever changing of hands Star Wars has gone through, the franchise will always be George Lucas’ baby.
“George Lucas is a friend of mine and he and I were having a good conversation the other day about it,” says Mr. Cameron. “I don’t want to say too much about the film cause I also have a lot of respect for J.J. Abrams, and I want to see where they’re taking it next, to see what they’re doing with it.”
Cameron may have a valid point in seeing where the Star Wars franchise heads with future installments. Fans and critics alike may reserve final judgments until they see where Abrams takes the current story arc in future films.
James Cameron Reveals Why We’re Still Waiting For An Avatar Sequel
Fans of Avatar (2009) have been waiting for seven years for the much anticipated sequel and they will just have to remain patient for even longer, because, as James Cameron revealed in an interview with Famous Monsters of Filmland, he won’t allow anyone to rush him. While Cameron only intended to produce Avatar 2 and decide on future sequels, once that film’s box office performance could be evaluated, the director has decided, instead, to produce four films for the franchise simultaneously. Cameron says the four Avatar sequels will be shot together, as opposed to shooting them back to back, as might have been expected.
In shooting the Avatar sequels concurrently, James says everyone, including himself, will have their limits challenged, because the shooting schedule will entail filming scenes from all four films in a random order. Cameron adds that shooting the Avatar sequels together like this will be the most challenging project he has ever undertaken, comparing it to what it might have been like to shoot all three Godfather films at once.
While everyone is aware of Cameron’s love for CGI technology, the director says his Avatar sequels will likely utilize real world photography more heavily than it was used in the first Avatar. James feels that incorporating more real world imagery will help to create a more realistic quality to the Avatar franchise, though he says CGI will still be necessary in continuing the films. Mr. Cameron anticipates creating more life-like aliens through the melding of CGI and real world photography.
So how will James Cameron schedule the release for all four Avatar films, considering they will all be done within the same time frame? That’s still up in the air, but one thing is certain: Cameron isn’t interested in competing with Star Wars at the box office.
“My original plan was to release them a year apart, but we’re opening that up. If for no other reason than that I don’t want to land on the same date as one of the Star Wars sequels. That wouldn’t be fair to them. [Laughs] No, that’s just good business,” says Cameron. “I don’t want to go head-to-head with Star Wars. That would be stupid. And hopefully they won’t want to go head-to-head with us.”
[Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CinemaCon]