Movies & TV / Columns

Does Anyone Care About Avatar?

February 19, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
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This isn’t about James Cameron’s thoughts about superhero movies. Yes, he’s been in the press plenty with his backhanded compliments about capes on the big screen but that’s not our focus today.

Let’s take a quick grab at what he said and tie that into Avatar.

“And by the way, (Aquaman) doesn’t help us with our issues of actually understanding the ocean and exploring the ocean and preserving the ocean — though they did throw in a couple things like whales and things like that to remind us we are using the ocean as a garbage dump, so I applaud the film for that. Yeah, I couldn’t have made that movie. We’re doing a lot of underwater in the Avatar sequels and it’s going to have such a different feel.”

Cameron has gone all in on Avatar and even though he’s committed to four sequels, we really don’t know much about what we have to look forward to.

Back in November, the BBC reported that the titles for the Avatar sequels would be: The Way of Water, Avatar: The Seed Bearer, Avatar: The Tulkun Rider, and Avatar: The Quest for Eywa.

Got that?

While those may seem like fan fiction titles, they might be more in play that we think. Cameron was doing press for Alita: Battle Angel and was interviewed by Entertainment Tonight about said titles.

“I can neither confirm nor deny,” Cameron said, “All right, here’s what I’ll tell ya. Those titles are among titles that are in consideration. And no final decisions have been made yet.”

Looking at the calendar, the first of the sequels is still just under two years away so we have plenty of time to speculate. It’s also important to note that during its theatrical run, Avatar broke several box office records and became the highest-grossing film of all time.

It also became the first movie to gross more than $2 billion and the best-selling film of 2010 in the United States. Avatar was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and won three, for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects.

But how has it aged?

Not well.

Nothing really stands out as memorable or quotable from the movie. From plot to action, the movie feels familiar and relies heavily on special effects as its hook. While I admire its success, I didn’t leave the theater wishing for more.

I’ll bet that I’m not alone. The Avatar franchise is already set but is the audience still out there or has Cameron overestimated its appeal?

How excited are you for FOUR more Avatar movies?