In the long and impressive cinematic history of James Cameron, there is one film he refuses to put on his resume but is reminded of every so often: “Piranha 2.” The young auteur was hired to direct the sequel years before he made the landmark “Terminator” in 1984, but was fired after only a few days of work. Not enough for a credit in the “Titanic” creator’s mind. Now, with “Piranha 3-D” in theaters and purposely shot in the immersive medium Cameron has rejuvenated with “Avatar,” the subject of the killer fish and their potential for cinematic mayhem has reached the visionary once more. Needless to say, he’s hardly a fan.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, Cameron bluntly said, “I tend almost never to throw other films under the bus, but that is exactly an example of what we should not be doing in 3-D. Because it just cheapens the medium and reminds you of the bad 3-D horror films from the 70s and 80s, like Friday the 13th 3-D. When movies got to the bottom of the barrel of their creativity and at the last gasp of their financial lifespan, they did a 3-D version to get the last few drops of blood out of the turnip. And that”s not what”s happening now with 3-D.”
Cameron went on to note the medium is in a “renaissance” right now.
“[The] biggest and the best films are being made in 3-D,” the Oscar winner told the magazine. “Martin Scorsese is making a film in 3-D. Disney”s biggest film of the year-‘Tron: Legacy’ -is coming out in 3-D. So it”s a whole new ballgame.”
The filmmaker has been on something of a media blitz the past few weeks in anticipation of the re-release of “Avatar” this past weekend. Unfortunately, the demand for the blockbuster’s return wasn’t what either he or 20th Century Fox expected. In just 881 3-D and IMAX theaters, “Avatar” grossed $4 million which put it outside of the top ten movies at the weekend box office. With $2.751 billion in worldwide theatrical revenue alone, neither party is crying over the result.
For more on Cameron’s thoughts on the “Avatar” re-release, check out his exclusive interview with HitFix’s Drew McWeeny below.