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James Cameron Says Marvel, DC Characters Lack Depth: ‘They All Act Like They’re in College’

"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."

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 03:  James Cameron attends Zoe Saldana's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame celebration ceremony on May 3, 2018 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

James Cameron


James Cameron is calling on the movie superheroes to grow up.

The “Avatar: The Way of Water” director dissed Marvel and DC superheroes for being two-dimensional characters that lack any real-world motivations or deeper emotions. Aside from seemingly eternal youngin’ Spider-Man (minus the Sam Raimi trilogy), the Marvel heroes “act like they’re in college,” Cameron said.

“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. They have relationships, but they really don’t,” Cameron told The New York Times. “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.”

“Avatar: The Way of Water” will be released 13 years after the original record-breaking blockbuster “Avatar” that followed Jake (Sam Worthington) exploring the Na’vi culture and falling in love with local Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). The sequel picks up with Jake and Neytiri being parents to three children, as well as a fourth adoptive teen daughter played by Sigourney Weaver. The newfound responsibilities for both parent characters play into their decision-making process and stunts, according to Oscar winner Cameron.

“Zoe and Sam now play parents, 15 years later,” Cameron said. “In the first movie, Sam’s character leaps off his flying creature and essentially changes the course of history as a result of this crazy, almost suicidal leap of faith. And Zoe’s character leaps off a limb and assumes there’s going to be some nice big leaves down there that can cushion her fall. But when you’re a parent, you don’t think that way. So for me, as a parent of five kids, I’m saying, ‘What happens when those characters mature and realize that they have a responsibility outside their own survival?'”

As actor Worthington added, “Jim wrote this family in a great way where not only are the stakes life and death, but the conflicts are quite domestic. You’re still having these arguments with kids that you have every day, like, ‘Pick up your clothes, eat your food,’ even though the world is at war.”

For all the details on “Avatar: The Way of Water,” click here.

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