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James Cameron Says Marvel Features Not ‘Epic’ Like Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’

Cameron defines "Dune" as similar to "Lord of the Rings" and the work of David Lean.



Warner Bros.

The debate with filmmakers about Marvel features rages on and entering the fray is “Avatar” director James Cameron. In a recent Directors on Directors interview with Variety, Cameron sat down with “Dune” director Denis Villeneuve to discuss everything from filmmaking technique to Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel.

Cameron starts in early on how different “Dune” is, citing that it has an epic quality he defines as similar to Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” series and the work of David Lean, helmer of “Lawrence of Arabia.” “When I think of films that have epic events in them, like let’s say a Marvel Universe film where whole cities get destroyed and so on, they don’t feel epic to me,” Cameron said to Villeneuve.

This isn’t the first time a director has spoken out against the massive filming juggernaut that is Marvel. Villeneuve himself brought up the studio back in September. “Perhaps the problem is that we are in front of too many Marvel movies that are nothing more than a ‘cut and paste’ of others,” Villeneuve said. “Perhaps these types of movies have turned us into zombies a bit… But big and expensive movies of great value there are many today. I don’t feel capable of being pessimistic at all.”

Like Cameron, Villeneuve also drew back on Old Hollywood for his reasoning. Villeneuve went on to say, “Just think of the golden age of Hollywood to see that commercial films can make a different artistic proposal and, therefore, political. I have never felt like a loss or an impediment to have a generous budget to do what I wanted to do. Upside down. Who said that a movie on a big budget can’t be artistically relevant at the same time? I am currently thinking of people like Christopher Nolan or Alfonso Cuarón.”

Villeneuve also recently told French outlet Premiere, “If we’re talking about Marvel, the thing is, all these films are made from the same mold. Some filmmakers can add a little color to it, but they’re all cast in the same factory. It doesn’t take anything away from the movies, but they are formatted.”

You can watch the full interview over at Variety.

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