There are plenty of reasons to not take James Cameron seriously. He’s known for having a pretty enormous ego and his films, though often breathtaking to watch, are consistently betrayed by hokey, uncomplicated writing in his screenplays. He is a visionary, without question, but no one said that someone with a distinct vision also has the tools to write in a way that gives a proverbial backbone to his wondrous images. Not everyone can be Wes Anderson, everybody.
Still, Cameron is someone whose outspoken nature and ambition within the blockbuster system have always brought me back to him and his artistry. Though the script sounded like a speech written for the EPA by that “Leave Britney Alone” girl, Avatar was revelatory to behold on the big screen, and few movies since have had such colorful bombast to them. And then there are the myriad pleasures and technical accomplishments strewn throughout The Abyss, Aliens, and the first two Terminator films, four of the greatest big-studio sci-fi works of the 1980s and 90s. Right now, however, all attention is on the Avatar sequels, and Cameron took to The Daily Beast this weekend to give an update. Here’s what he said:
So how is Avatar 2 coming along? Obviously the first one is the all-time box office champ, so the bar is set pretty high here.
The thing is, my focus isn’t on Avatar 2. My focus is on Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5equally. That’s exactly how I’m approaching it. They’ve all been developed equally. I’ve just finished the script to Avatar 5. I’m now starting the process of active prep. I’ll be working with the actors in the capture volume in August, so I’m booked in production every day between now and then. Our volume is up and running, and everything is designed, and so we’re going full-guns right now. I feel like I’ve been let out of jail, because I’ve been in the writing cave for the last two years. I’m actually enjoying life. I don’t enjoy writing. I wouldn’t wish writing on a dog.
This is a pretty big milestone for Cameron, who has been working on these Avatar scripts since he came down from Avatar‘s Oscar high and probably even before. Now, we’ll just have to wait to see how the movies themselves come out over the next few years.
Avatar, mind you, wasn’t the only thing Cameron was talking about in this interview. He addressed the rumors of him possibly directing a Star Wars or Marvel movie, to which he said that he wouldn’t want to work in someone else’s “house,” which makes complete sense. He talked about his upcoming NatGeo doc, Atlantis Rising, which will premiere on the network soon and looks pretty engrossing from what’s been released of it. And, finally, he came to the topic of famed angry baby and President of these United States Donald Trump, whose war against the environment and human decency has made Cameron particularly furious, cynical, and bewildered. “These people are crazy,” Cameron said when speaking of Trump and Scott Pruitt, while also referring to our current society as “the biggest freakin’ idiot civilization in history” in relation to how we treat Earth. It’s hard to argue about that reasoning but…oh, who am I kidding? There’s no arguing that reasoning at this point.