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'Avatar' Director James Cameron Criticizes Marvel And DC For Featuring Characters Who 'Act Like They're In College'

The 'Avatar: Way Of The Water' director made the comments in an interview with The New York Times.

James Cameron
Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Absolut Elyx

With his Avatar sequel finally slated to release at last, part of director James Cameron's marketing scheme seems to be dogging out other big budget movies.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Cameron set his critical eye on comic book and super-hero movies by studios like Marvel and DC, claiming the films are low-quality despite their astronomical box office.

Cameron griped to the Times Marvel's and DC's characters all "act like they're in college" and the films lack authentic relationships.

The once hotly anticipated Avatar sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, has been 13 years in the making.

Speaking to the Times, Cameron described some of what he and the cast, which includes Zoë Saldana, Sam Worthington and Sigourney Weaver, have been up to all these years, including intense physical training for the actors and lots of work on character development for the script.

He cited the relationships between characters and the sacrifices they make for the greater good as central to fans' love of Avatar stories and claimed they're also what sets them apart from Marvel and DC films.

As he put it:

“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. 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.”

Cameron joins filmmakers like Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola who have had similar gripes with the big-budget barnstormers Marvel and DC make.

But Cameron's big-budget, action- and special effects-driven popcorn flicks have a lot more in common with Iron Manand Wonder Woman than Raging Bull or The Godfather.

And Avatar wasn't exactly a unanimous success when it released back in 2009, with many critics casting the exact same aspersions on Cameron's film as those he leveled at DC and MCU's output.

As you might expect, his criticisms struck a bit of a sour note with most people on social media.

Avatar: The Way of Water and its director's superior cinematic relationships land in movie theaters December 16.