Avatar: The Way of Water passed $1 billion at the worldwide box office earlier this week, and all signs point to filmmaker James Cameron having another record-breaking hit on his hands.
He's someone who has countless hits, of course, including Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day. However, looking back at his career, Cameron admits that those are movies he'd approach in a very different way now. Why? Well, it boils down to the level of violence on screen and the way guns play into that.
"I look back on some films that I’ve made, and I don’t know if I would want to make that film now. I don’t know if I would want to fetishize the gun, like I did on a couple of Terminator movies 30+ years ago, in our current world," the director tells Esquire (via SFFGazette.com). "What’s happening with guns in our society turns my stomach."
"I’m happy to be living in New Zealand where they just banned all assault rifles two weeks after that horrific mosque shooting a couple of years ago," he adds, revealing this his outlook also had an impact on the Avatar sequel.
"I actually cut about 10 minutes of the movie targeting gunplay action. I wanted to get rid of some of the ugliness, to find a balance between light and dark," Cameron explains. "You have to have conflict, of course. Violence and action are the same thing, depending on how you look at it."
"This is the dilemma of every action filmmaker, and I’m known as an action filmmaker."
Guns remain an incredibly divisive subject, and we're not going to dive into the politics of it all here. However, it's definitely interesting to hear from Cameron, who is undoubtedly an "action filmmaker," about how real-life gun violence has changed his approach to storytelling on screen.
Recently, the director suggested there may be plans to revive the Terminator franchise, albeit in a very different way. If that's something he's involved in, we're guessing any action scenes revolving around guns - which are a huge part of those first two instalments - will be dialled back and possibly eliminated altogether.
Feel free to let us know your thoughts on Cameron's comments in the usual place.