“Thanos? Come on. Give me a break,” Cameron said.
James Cameron is calling out the comparisons between “Avatar: The Way of Water” special effects and Marvel’s own VFX work.
The Oscar winner said it’s “not even close” between how the Na’vi creatures of “Avatar” look side by side with “Avengers: Endgame” villain Thanos, played by Josh Brolin.
“I just want to say ahead of time that I’m not going to diss the Marvel or DC Universe,” Cameron told ComicBook.com (video below). Yet when it comes to motion capture technology, Cameron can’t help but trumpet his own team at WETA.
“Obviously the big comic book films have been driving the sheer volume of the industry,” Cameron continued. “The rising tide of technique raises everybody together. It gives you higher quality artists, more tools and plug-ins and code [to use]. You’ve got more talented people writing code out there.”
He added, “Our team at WETA Digital is constantly having new hires, and it’s coming out of that pool, so it improves everything. That said, WETA Effects, as it’s called now, is the best. Right? Industrial Light & Magic does great work, but when it comes to the kind of emotive facial stuff that we’re doing…Thanos? Come on. Give me a break. You saw [‘Avatar: The Way of Water’]. It’s not even close. It’s what WETA did.”
This isn’t the first time Cameron has criticized Marvel leading up to the premiere of “The Way of Water” December 16.
“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.”
The CGI effects used by Marvel have also come under fire this year with alleged workplace issues at Disney with employees allegedly feeling “pressured” to complete effects on Disney+ series “She-Hulk.” Marvel movie “Thor: Love and Thunder” was additionally dissed for its amount of CGI effects used.
Last month, VFX artist Dhruv Govil, who worked on films including “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” tweeted that working on Marvel shows is “what pushed me to leave the VFX industry. They’re a horrible client, and I’ve seen way too many colleagues break down after being overworked, while Marvel tightens the purse strings.”