James Cameron’s latest film Avatar: The Way of Water is closing in on $1 Billion worldwide at the box office, about halfway to its $2 Billion break even goal. The film is seen as a decent follow-up to the 2009 original with plenty of stunning visuals, character moments and over the top action.
However, it appears that despite the film’s long 3 hour runtime there was about 10 minutes worth of footage that was removed from the final theatrical cut. Why was this footage removed? Guns.
In a recent interview with Esquire Middle East James Cameron stated:
“I had a bit of a crisis of faith as we were cutting the movie together. It was too violent. I wanted a balance between the beauty, the epiphany, the kind of spiritual aspect of the film, with the action, and I felt it had gotten a little too grim.“
“I actually cut about 10 minutes of the movie targeting gunplay action. You have to have conflict, of course. Violence and action are the same thing, depending on how you look at it. This is the dilemma of every action filmmaker, and I’m known as an action filmmaker.“
This statement feels somewhat contradictory to his 40 year film career since he is well known for writing, directing and producing multiple action films over the past four decades, such as the first two Terminator films, Aliens, True Lies and Alita: Battle Angel.
He would also go on to say in the same interview:
“I look back on some films that I’ve made, and I don’t know if I would want to make that film now. I don’t know if I would want to fetishize the gun, like I did on a couple of Terminator movies 30-plus years ago, in our current world. What’s happening with guns in our society turns my stomach. I’m happy to be living in New Zealand where they just banned all assault rifles two weeks after that horrific mosque shooting a couple of years ago.“
This statement follows a recent trend of odd behavior from the director, saying things like testosterone is a “toxin” (despite that being scientifically false) as well as flipping people off after an Avatar 2 screening (although some argue they were autograph resellers and deserved it.) One might wonder about the current state of his mental health or if his viewpoints as a creative have changed.
Whatever the case we, might not see as much action in his films as we used to going forward.
What do you think? Is he justified in his changes or is he going a little off the deep end?
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