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Why Is James Cameron So Obsessed With Trash-Talking Superheroes? Get a Hobby!

Also you're wrong! Watch 'Avengers: Endgame' before making stuff up, James!

Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The world’s biggest superhero hater has logged on to complain again because James Cameron clearly has nothing better to do with his time. The director of Avatar and the plethora of Avatar sequels coming out over ten years later (and also Titanic and some other actually good stuff) loves to hate on the superhero genre. And much like those guys on social media who like to just tweet about how they’re original and hate superheroes, Cameron loves to bring up why he doesn’t like the genre.

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And now, he’s doing it again because he has nothing else to talk about, I guess! In an interview with The New York Times, Cameron was promoting Avatar: The Way of Water and instead of talking about his own film and returning to the franchise, he decided it was time to double down yet again on his stance and just … frankly, talk out of his ass.

“When I look at these big, spectacular films — I’m looking at you, Marvel and DC — it doesn’t matter how old the characters are, they all act like they’re in college,” Cameron said before going on to talk about something that is just … false! “They have relationships, but they really don’t. They never hang up their spurs because of their kids. The things that really ground us and give us power, love, and a purpose? Those characters don’t experience it, and I think that’s not the way to make movies.”

What James Cameron is saying with this quote is that he has not only not watched Avengers: Endgame, but he also fundamentally misunderstands superheroes, and that’s frankly on him! In fact, I could list characters that prove this quote wrong right off the top of my head, because Wanda Maximoff is the antithesis of this statement. Furthermore, a superhero hanging up their capes because they have kids is when they retire.

So what do you want? A superhero movie to be about our favorites just hanging out at home the entire time with nothing happening?

Love and a purpose is literally the arc of most heroes

Not to be a hound but if Cameron is going to just say things that aren’t true, I’m going to point out why that is! First of all, he says that they “never hang up their spurs because of their kids,” and with that, I provide you Avengers: Endgame, wherein Tony Stark does not want to be an Avenger and the only reason he does come back is the rescue of his other “kid.”

Then he says they don’t experience love and a purpose because they don’t give it up for their kids? That’s not only saying that everyone has to have kids, but also that these heroes don’t have families, which is, again, not true! We see what the loss of kids can do to someone with a character like Wanda Maximoff. We get to see relationships between parents and their kids all the time in the genre, but that would require Cameron to watch the movies he wants to complain about.

And look, I don’t know if he has seen them or not, but if someone has watched the MCU and the DCU (formerly known as the DCEU) and they said something like this? I’d simply point out that they weren’t paying attention.

James, literally get a hobby

My problem with Cameron’s quote is that he’s using the example of love and relationships within this genre as if grand love stories do not exist. That’s false on a number of levels, because when you look at heroes, there is always their one great love that fans cling to. While it was not my favorite relationship, Peggy Carter and Steve Rogers are a great example of a love story that ruled over Steve’s mind and actions and led to his “happy ending” in his own way.

Diana Prince and Steve Trevor have been a love story within the DC universe for decades. We have Clark and Lois and their love too, not to mention Batman and Catwoman. But referencing any of this would detract from Cameron’s absolute hatred of the genre.

The problem is that instead of just simply saying, “Hey, you know what, this isn’t for me,” and moving on, Cameron continues to make comments about these movies and trash them because, from what I can tell, he wants others to say, “Hey, you’re right,” and personally, don’t! It’s also just clearly a self-promotion tactic. He’s been talking about Avatar’s sequels turning the story into a “generational family saga” and how he realized the franchise would enable him say “Everything [he needs] to say about family, about sustainability, about climate, about the natural world, the themes that are important to [him].”

So, of course, he needs to feel like his approach is groundbreaking and somehow superior. To pump his own movies up and make them seem special, he’s acting like other popular movies don’t also have those themes or focus on them enough. He’s wrong. In his New York Times quote, he’s ignoring the storylines he says do not exist within the genre to make a point that doesn’t exist when he could, instead, talk about his own movie and I’m frankly tired of seeing him comment on the superhero genre. Find something else to talk about.

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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