The box office “king of the world” has expressed what many movie-goers feel: Superhero franchise fatigue.
With yet another summer upon us — one that will be spearheaded by the release of “Avengers: Infinity Wars” this coming Friday — James Cameron has the right attitude: “Enough already!”
Speaking with IndieWire, Cameron said, “I’m hoping we’ll start getting ‘Avenger’ fatigue here pretty soon.”
He added, “It’s just, come on guys, there are other stories to tell besides hypergonadal males (men who produce too much testosterone) without families doing death-defying things for two hours and wrecking cities in the process. It’s like, oy!”
While Cameron did not dismiss the merit of the “Avengers” franchise, he does feel that they lack what his films and other films like it had: Heart and an emphasis on family, minus “Black Panther.” He used his upcoming sequel “Avatar” to demonstrate his point.
“I’ve found myself as a father of five starting to think about what would an ‘Avatar’ story be like if it was a family drama. What if it was ‘The Godfather?'” he said. “It’s a generational family saga. That’s very different than the first film. There’s still the same setting and the same respect for the shock of the new. We still want to show you things that you haven’t even seen or imagined, but the story is very different.”
“It’s a continuation of the same characters … but what happens when warriors who are willing to go on suicide charges and leap off cliffs, what happens when they grow up and have their own kids?”
Cameron is certainly no friend to conservatives or religious folk, but he does have respect for the natural law of storytelling, which requires a respect for universal symbols, themes, and traditions. The film that launched his career, “The Terminator,” is almost (not quite) a retelling of the nativity story, with Sara Connor as the Virgin Mary and John Connor as Christ (no coincidences his initials were J.C.).
“Aliens” explored themes about motherhood and military hubris. “True Lies” centered around an absent husband/father reclaiming his lost family. “Titanic” was basically “Romeo & Juliet” on a sinking ship. Even his ultra-leftist “Avatar” ultimately hinged on family and relationships.
By telling Hollywood “enough already” regarding superhero films, specifically the MCU, Cameron is saying that stories must have an inspired heart at the center, and only then do audiences get what they pay for: True catharsis.