It’s one of the most common criticisms of Avatar: people say it’s made no cultural impact – but James Cameron disagrees, branding it an “irrelevant argument.”
Avatar may still be the highest-grossing movie of all time, but you’re lucky if you mention it without someone saying how it’s failed to make any sort of cultural impact.
Since the original film hit cinemas in 2009, mainstream cinema has changed; most notably, the MCU has drastically evolved how studios operate, with shared universes and nostalgia dominating strategy.
Avatar isn’t operating in the same league. It was a one-off, original sci-fi blockbuster, and James Cameron doesn’t have time for people’s claims about the movie.
James Cameron hits back at Avatar criticism
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cameron addressed the claims of cultural irrelevancy mounting and surrounding Avatar.
He said: “There’s skepticism in the marketplace around, ‘Oh, did it ever make any real cultural impact?’, ‘Can anybody even remember the characters’ names?’
“If people are less likely to remember Jake Sully than, say, Luke Skywalker, that’s partly because Avatar is only one movie into its mythology.
“When you have extraordinary success, you come back within the next three years. That’s just how the industry works. You come back to the well, and you build that cultural impact over time.
“Marvel had maybe 26 movies to build out a universe, with the characters cross-pollinating. So it’s an irrelevant argument. We’ll see what happens after this film.”
In an earlier interview with Empire, Cameron also said: “The trolls will have it that nobody gives a sh*t and they can’t remember the characters’ names or one damn thing that happened in the movie.
“Then they see the movie again and go, ‘Oh, okay, excuse me, let me just shut the f*ck up right now.’ So I’m not worried about that.”
Avatar 2 hits cinemas on December 16, 2022. You can find out more about the movie here.