Sunday, November 27, 2022

Can ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Be as Good as James Cameron’s Interviews About It?

Avatar: The Way of Water opens in theaters in lower than a month, and virtually no person has seen it. That’s an actual rarity this time of yr, when awards contenders with December launch dates like Babylon or Glass Onion display broadly for critics on each coasts to be able to make it in for awards consideration. Very like its 2009 predecessor, the Avatar sequel is about to open at almost the final doable second to be eligible for this yr’s awards race, solely bolstered by the air of secrecy  that surrounds it. 

However you do have to ensure folks know your film exists, so with out massive promotional screenings or way more than some trailers, The Way of Water has yet one more secret weapon: its director, James Cameron. Throughout a string of interviews this fall, from selling the theatrical rerelease of Avatar in September to an expansive GQ profile this week, Cameron has dropped a string of one-liners (“Whitewater rafting? Fuck that”), sarcastic retorts (“Oh, I don’t know, maybe that it looks good? Come on!”), and grandstanding statements (“I think this movie is going to make all the fucking money”) which might be frankly awe-inspiring. For somebody who almost didn’t make the primary Avatar film as a result of he was “having too much fun” doing underwater exploration, Cameron has returned to the film publicity machine with relish—and, seemingly, completely on his personal phrases. 

It’s not simply his absence of self-doubt (“I don’t think I’m hardwired with that”) or well-earned confidence in his success (Titanic paid for [this building], so I get to do this,” as he instructed a bunch of Fox executives). It’s the sense that each one this maniacal laborious work and religion in creatures known as Na’vi might be within the service of one thing actually spectacular. Cameron’s confidence is clearly infectious, each for the actors he works with (the story of Kate Winslet studying to carry her breath for seven and a half minutes is already well-known) and the viewers desperate to line as much as see what marvel he’s created subsequent. For all of the skepticism that’s emerged round Avatar within the years since its historic field workplace run, Cameron is completely clear-eyed—and proper—about what made it so huge: “I feel anyone that’s seen the film is aware of why; it’s a fucking gigantic journey that’s an all-consuming emotional expertise that leaves you wrung out by the top of the film. And it was groundbreaking visually, and it nonetheless holds up at the moment. So I don’t assume I would like a concept.”

Beneath, just a few more moderen highlights from Cameron’s wonderful press tour, from recounting previous disputes with one other underwater explorer to a shot fired at Marvel and DC. Avatar: The Way of Water might be in theaters on December 16, which implies we hopefully have many, many extra weeks of Cameron interviews to get pleasure from between from time to time. 

On exploring the wreck of the Titanic, as recounted by explorer Victor Vescovo:  “I mentioned, ‘I watched Titanic on the Titanic.’ And he really replied: ‘Yeah, however I made Titanic on the Titanic.’ ”

On just how much money The Way of Water has to make: “How costly? ‘Very fucking,’ in line with Cameron, who instructed [GQ] he’d knowledgeable the studio that the movie represented ‘the worst enterprise case in film historical past.’ With a purpose to be worthwhile, he’d mentioned, ‘it’s a must to be the third or fourth highest-grossing movie in historical past. That’s your threshold. That’s your break even.’”

On his New Zealand farm: “I’ve by no means actually checked this out, however I’m instructed we’re the largest provider of natural brassicas in New Zealand, which is a distinct segment of a distinct segment, granted.”

On his dreams:  “I’ve my very own personal streaming service that’s higher than any of that shit on the market. And it runs each evening at no cost.”

On his uneven gait: “I keep in mind my first spouse, once we had been simply first courting, she mentioned, ‘Stroll forward of me on the sidewalk.’ And I mentioned, ‘Why?’ She mentioned, ‘I need to examine your stroll.’ And I rotated and I mentioned, ‘Why?’ She mentioned, ‘Properly, I feel I can right it.’ Fuck you!”

On working with Ron Howard on the visible results for Apollo 13: “I’m like, ‘I’m a complete asshole in comparison with Ron Howard.’”

On the hat he used to wear on set that stood for “head motherfucker in cost”: “I’d both put on that hat on the primary day of a brand new shoot, or I’d put on my T-shirt that claims ‘Time turns into meaningless within the face of creativity.’ Simply to shake up the studio slightly bit. I don’t assume I [wore] the HMFIC hat on the brand new Avatar. That is the kinder, gentler me. That is the mellow, Zen good man, delicate to everyone’s wants and emotional necessities. No microaggressions right here. Which is normally good for concerning the first two weeks.”

On superhero movies:  “I additionally need to do the factor that different folks aren’t doing. Once I have a look at these massive, spectacular movies—I’m taking a look at you, Marvel and DC—it doesn’t matter how previous the characters are, all of them act like they’re in faculty. They’ve relationships, however they actually don’t. They by no means dangle up their spurs as a result of of their youngsters.”

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