Unlike certain other high-profile directors, James Cameron is a professed fan of Marvel and DC movies. But in a new interview for Avatar: The Way of Water, he weighed in on the VFX used to create Marvel villain Thanos, versus the VFX that brings his Avatar characters to life. And you won’t be surprised which he favors.
“I am not gonna dis the Marvel or the DC Universe. Love those movies, let’s just get that off the table,” he said in a video interview with Comicbook.com. And while he may indeed enjoy the plot and characters, that’s not what he focused on as he continued to explain what he most appreciates about the superhero movie genre. “Obviously the big comic book superhero films have been driving the sheer volume of the [visual effects] industry, and the rising tide of technique raises everybody together. It gives you higher-quality artists, you’ve got more tools and plug-ins and code, you’ve got more talented people writing code and simulations and all that sort of thing. And then, as we’re putting our team together, and as [Weta FX] is constantly having to have new hires and so on, it’s coming from that pool, it improves everything together.”
However, the director who once declared himself “king of the world” is confident he’s king of digital characters, too. “Weta FX is the best,” he said. “When it comes to the kind of emotive, facial stuff that we’re doing—I mean, Thanos, come on. Give me a break. You saw this movie [Avatar 2], it’s not even close … I literally sometimes just sit there in review sessions just going, ‘are you seeing what I’m seeing?’ Sometimes you can understand the characters’ inner monologue with themselves and what they’re feeling before they even say a word.” It’s worth noting that Weta, then known as Weta Digital, was actually one of the companies that worked on Thanos—but Avengers: Infinity War also came out in 2018, and presumably the tech has improved even in just a span of a few years.
And, sorry nerds—Cameron said he has “no interest in directing comic book movies [in the future],” though he does sound a little wistful speaking about his never-ran with Spider-Man. Watch the full interview here; Avatar: The Way of Water is out December 16.
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