James Cameron was singing the praises of science fiction in film ahead of the premiere of his series, AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction. While it is service of promotion for the series at the Manhattan Beach Studios he’s taken over, Cameron has the track record and appreciation for science fiction to give a fine critique of what is out there today. He drops some praise on Arrival and Ex-Machina, but most of the attention is being given to his comments about The Avengers films and the superhero effect on the genre.
For Cameron, he’s really hoping for the “fatigue” to set in and finally put these types of films on the backburner according to IndieWire:
“I’m hoping we’ll start getting ‘Avenger’ fatigue here pretty soon,” Cameron said. “Not that I don’t love the movies. It’s just, come on guys, there are other stories to tell besides hyper-gonadal males without families doing death-defying things for two hours and wrecking cities in the process. It’s like, oy!”
There are some specific gripes you could have here with the description, like that that these are characters without families, but you can see where he’s coming from in a general sense. At the same time, we’re getting a lot of great sci-fi from all of these avenues and the superhero push is just helping to keep it in the top of the box office. The success of Black Panther might not have happened without this Avengers push and it was something we weren’t getting from regular sci-fi films. They also aren’t taking away from other great sci-fi, like Annihilation or A Quiet Place, both which drew critical praise this year and also some box office success.
He described the first two sequels as a “conjoined” effort, saying that he is working on both films simultaneously jumping from one to the other in no particular order. At this point, other than having completed scripts for all four planned sequels, he is focused on the first two only which are currently set for release respectively in December of 2020 and 2021…
He did throw Disney’s Bob Iger’s name in there in reference to the upcoming sale of 20th Century Fox’s film division to Disney, but said he’s seen nothing since regulatory rules prevent any ultimate Disney involvement in the plans of Fox projects until the deal is approved and completed (at least a year away). Cameron told me his main concern is in getting the first two sequels in theatres and will deal more completely with numbers 4 and 5 after that, adding that he personally is still “fully committed” to the ambitious timetable no matter what happens between Fox and Disney.
There is also another Terminator in the works with Tim Miller directing. There are likely some questions to be asked bouncing off of his comments about the Avengers movies, but it’s better to just let the comments stand. If anything, there’s no shortage of sci-fi to come for fans.