AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER Director James Cameron On Why Comparisons To Marvel And STAR WARS Are "Irrelevant"

Avatar director James Cameron has weighed in on the franchise being compared to Marvel and Star Wars, saying it's currently "irrelevant" whether his sci-fi movies have had the same cultural impact.

Avatar arrived in theaters way back in 2009, and while it broke countless box office records before eventually becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time, would it still be part of the conversation had it not found that success? 

The movie received mostly positive reviews, but is only ever really mentioned in conversations about box office, 3D effects, or when it's rather unflatteringly being compared to the movies it supposedly rips off. Whether it should be hailed as a sci-fi classic remains up for debate, but Disney certainly has ambitious plans for the franchise alongside filmmaker James Cameron.

Avatar: The Way of Water finally arrives in theatres later this month, and in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter (via SFFGazette.com), the director explained why his series still needs time to grow before it can match the cultural impact of something like Star Wars.

"There's skepticism in the marketplace around, 'Oh, did it ever make any real cultural impact?'" Cameron says. "'Can anybody even remember the characters' names?' If people are less likely to remember Jake Sully than, say, Luke Skywalker, that’s partly because Avatar is only one movie into its mythology."

"When you have extraordinary success, you come back within the next three years," he continues. "That's just how the industry works. You come back to the well, and you build that cultural impact over time. Marvel had maybe 26 movies to build out a universe, with the characters cross-pollinating. So it's an irrelevant argument. We'll see what happens after this film."

Cameron makes some valid points here, and it's true that these things do take time. He now has a fair bit of that, with a third movie already shot and tentative plans for fourth and fifth instalments already in place. How far along those plans get very much hinges on this upcoming sequel, however. It needs to be a success, though early signs suggest it will be. 

Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, the sequel 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 splashes down in theaters worldwide on December 16.

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