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James Cameron says the Avatar sequels will address real world social issues

Aug. 20, 2014by:

When the first trailers hit for James Cameron's AVATAR, there were countless comparisons to the animated film FERNGULLY. Both films deal with woodland creatures dealing with the destruction of their habitats by greedy humans and both drove home the idea of protecting the environment with a not so subtle hammer. Well, if you were expecting the three upcoming AVATAR sequels to be any different, you are going to be disappointed.

In a recent interview with Variety regarding 20th Century Fox honcho Jim Gianopulos, Cameron shared some insight as to the thematic direction of the AVATAR sequels and the message they will convey.

Theres nothing I need to say as an artist about the state of the world and human affairs that I cant do through the lens of the Avatar universe, he says. Weve had a couple of years to think through the story arc of the next three films, and every day that goes by, I believe in the stories Im telling more and more. Were not coming out of the block fast to capitalize on the last film.

I have absolutely no problem with a piece of entertainment also spreading a positive message, but I am holding out hope that AVATAR 2, 3, and 4 will do so in a less blunt manner. AVATAR was so obvious in it's anti-deforestation/pro-environmentalism message that it became distracting. We all know that James Cameron is passionate about these causes, but there is a way to share that without alienating audience members who may not be aligned with those ideals.

The article also goes on to say that the three AVATAR sequels combined are estimated to have a budget of $1 billion which would make them the most expensive movies ever made. Here's to hoping that buys us some less overt propaganda.

AVATAR 2 will hit theaters December 2016.

Source: Variety

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6:16PM on 08/21/2014
While I consider myself a bit of an environmentalist, I don't necessarily think overt political agendas play well in movies. Unless you go the Inconvenient Truth route and just scare the shit out of people, this is a difficult one to attack straight-on. WALL-E worked so well because it was about him and EVE, two robots that weren't necessarily affected by environmental ruin, although the McGuguffin was mankind's last hope (oxygen-producing vegetation).

But I'm a bit more irritated by
While I consider myself a bit of an environmentalist, I don't necessarily think overt political agendas play well in movies. Unless you go the Inconvenient Truth route and just scare the shit out of people, this is a difficult one to attack straight-on. WALL-E worked so well because it was about him and EVE, two robots that weren't necessarily affected by environmental ruin, although the McGuguffin was mankind's last hope (oxygen-producing vegetation).

But I'm a bit more irritated by Cameron's line "We're not coming out of the block fast to capitalize on the last one." Uh, that was five years ago. By modern blockbuster standards you're already two years late, James.
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+0
4:22PM on 08/21/2014
Oh goody.
Oh goody.
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10:33AM on 08/21/2014
When it comes to action/scifi, Cameron can do whatever the f*ck he wants. Seriously, the guy has yet to make a bad movie. The fact that he still gets criticism on anything film related is insane to me.
When it comes to action/scifi, Cameron can do whatever the f*ck he wants. Seriously, the guy has yet to make a bad movie. The fact that he still gets criticism on anything film related is insane to me.
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7:02AM on 08/21/2014
I didn't mind it in Avatar, because we've seen the story so many times. But I hope the political self awareness isn't to the extreme of Elysium. It totally ruined the movie for me. The action was great, but I just couldn't get behind the characters and story because it was so in your face about everything.
I didn't mind it in Avatar, because we've seen the story so many times. But I hope the political self awareness isn't to the extreme of Elysium. It totally ruined the movie for me. The action was great, but I just couldn't get behind the characters and story because it was so in your face about everything.
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11:46AM on 08/23/2014
I thought Elysium actually did the social commentary thing the right way, but Avatar did it horribly. I was so caught up in the story and characters and Sharlto Copleys overall badassery that it was only after the movie that I realized the movie was touching on universal healthcare, separation of classes, immigration, etc.
I thought Elysium actually did the social commentary thing the right way, but Avatar did it horribly. I was so caught up in the story and characters and Sharlto Copleys overall badassery that it was only after the movie that I realized the movie was touching on universal healthcare, separation of classes, immigration, etc.
2:31AM on 08/21/2014
Isn't social commentary kind of the point of Sci-Fi?
Isn't social commentary kind of the point of Sci-Fi?
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7:21PM on 08/21/2014
No.
No.
11:06PM on 08/20/2014
"More and more kids have been going out wearing those motion capture suits and performance capture face camera rigs. It is a troubling trend that I regret having played a part in making popular. It's time to address it head-on."
"More and more kids have been going out wearing those motion capture suits and performance capture face camera rigs. It is a troubling trend that I regret having played a part in making popular. It's time to address it head-on."
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11:04PM on 08/20/2014
Actually Sci-fi has been a great medium for Social commentary
Actually Sci-fi has been a great medium for Social commentary
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7:21PM on 08/21/2014
Has being the operative word. Today's film makers are far too heavy handed in their massaging, and far too myopic and biased.
Has being the operative word. Today's film makers are far too heavy handed in their massaging, and far too myopic and biased.
9:35PM on 08/20/2014
As long as there are stunning action sequences and mechs, lots and lots of mechs, I'm down for all Avatar sequels.
As long as there are stunning action sequences and mechs, lots and lots of mechs, I'm down for all Avatar sequels.
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9:21PM on 08/20/2014
Except that the social issues that Cameron addresses are usually imaginary.
Except that the social issues that Cameron addresses are usually imaginary.
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6:10AM on 08/21/2014
Right. Just like you.
Right. Just like you.
7:20PM on 08/21/2014
No. Not like me.

[link]
No. Not like me.

[link]
8:48PM on 08/20/2014
Why does people like Cameron want to save the environment? Because he fucking lives in it and so do all of us! How can so many people let themselves be fooled by greedy big business into thinking that caring for the planet is some kind of radical propaganda?
Why does people like Cameron want to save the environment? Because he fucking lives in it and so do all of us! How can so many people let themselves be fooled by greedy big business into thinking that caring for the planet is some kind of radical propaganda?
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9:23PM on 08/20/2014
Corporate capitalist James Cameron is worth $700 Million.

[link]

So spare us your idiotic sermon on greedy big business.
Corporate capitalist James Cameron is worth $700 Million.

[link]

So spare us your idiotic sermon on greedy big business.
9:32PM on 08/20/2014
Let aerketype think he's intelligent.
Let aerketype think he's intelligent.
6:28AM on 08/21/2014
I might be looking to into it or you might have missed the point. If Cameron is worth $700 mil... Then doesn't he have more responsibility to try to make the world a better place than other film makers that don't have unlimited budgets for their creative projects? The problem is, not everyone shares the same vision of what a better world would look like.

Just my 2 cents.
I might be looking to into it or you might have missed the point. If Cameron is worth $700 mil... Then doesn't he have more responsibility to try to make the world a better place than other film makers that don't have unlimited budgets for their creative projects? The problem is, not everyone shares the same vision of what a better world would look like.

Just my 2 cents.
7:07AM on 08/21/2014
If the U.S. shut down every power plant it had polluting the air, and causing "global warming," the earth temperature would drop a half of a degree in about 200 years. These are things that scientist don't want you to know because it goes against they're agenda, and they'll stop getting funded by these radical organizations. Just like it's more eco-friendly and cost effective to burn Styrofoam and just make new product than it is to recycle it. But people don't look into things like that.
If the U.S. shut down every power plant it had polluting the air, and causing "global warming," the earth temperature would drop a half of a degree in about 200 years. These are things that scientist don't want you to know because it goes against they're agenda, and they'll stop getting funded by these radical organizations. Just like it's more eco-friendly and cost effective to burn Styrofoam and just make new product than it is to recycle it. But people don't look into things like that.
5:58PM on 08/21/2014
The real truth is the U.S. isn't the top polluter...anymore. That honor goes to China, by a wide margin. Doesn't mean Global Warming is a hoax or the environment isn't worth saving (or at least trying to improve it). I'm not going to get into a deep political debate on the issue because this is not a forum for that. And, DeakenBlack, I've never found a place where styrofoam could be recycled in the first place. Enlighten me, oh great one.
The real truth is the U.S. isn't the top polluter...anymore. That honor goes to China, by a wide margin. Doesn't mean Global Warming is a hoax or the environment isn't worth saving (or at least trying to improve it). I'm not going to get into a deep political debate on the issue because this is not a forum for that. And, DeakenBlack, I've never found a place where styrofoam could be recycled in the first place. Enlighten me, oh great one.
7:17PM on 08/21/2014
Global Warming is in fact the biggest scientific hoax since the Piltdown Man. I'm old enough to remember the Global Cooling hysteria of the 70s that advocates of Global Warming claim never happened.

[link]

I hear that next on the pseudoscience menu is ocean species depletion. Maybe that's Cameron's next imaginary obsession.
Global Warming is in fact the biggest scientific hoax since the Piltdown Man. I'm old enough to remember the Global Cooling hysteria of the 70s that advocates of Global Warming claim never happened.

[link]

I hear that next on the pseudoscience menu is ocean species depletion. Maybe that's Cameron's next imaginary obsession.
7:47AM on 08/22/2014
Holehaw-You're right, I miss typed. I meant to say it safer, cheaper, and cleaner to make new Styrofoam, and burn the old stuff than to recycle plastic and reform it. Or you can just make new plastic too. But I was referring to something the bleeding hearts in NY and LA were trying to pass, and I'm not sure if it did, that businesses had to serve hot beverages in a paper cup, because Styrofoam is such an evil, earth melting invention.
Holehaw-You're right, I miss typed. I meant to say it safer, cheaper, and cleaner to make new Styrofoam, and burn the old stuff than to recycle plastic and reform it. Or you can just make new plastic too. But I was referring to something the bleeding hearts in NY and LA were trying to pass, and I'm not sure if it did, that businesses had to serve hot beverages in a paper cup, because Styrofoam is such an evil, earth melting invention.
8:43PM on 08/20/2014

Does anyone really want to see a sequel?

Let alone a sequel that mirrors real world social issues. I don't go to see sci fi movies to learn about modern social problems. Just stick to action James. It's what we've wanted from you for 20 years.
Let alone a sequel that mirrors real world social issues. I don't go to see sci fi movies to learn about modern social problems. Just stick to action James. It's what we've wanted from you for 20 years.
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8:09PM on 08/20/2014
Lol.
Lol.
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+2
8:02PM on 08/20/2014
Im just wondering when hes actually going to start filming another one. Neither him or us are getting any younger.
Im just wondering when hes actually going to start filming another one. Neither him or us are getting any younger.
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6:23PM on 08/20/2014
Cameron's been saying the same thing for 5 years now. I wonder if it's going to be 3 more movies of a pro-environmentalism, or if he'll address other social issues (equal rights, immigration, etc.). Probably not, since those hot-topic issues divide people and would result in the sequels not doing as well financially. Maybe Cameron should have just made a Captain Planet movie instead of 3 more Avatar films.
Cameron's been saying the same thing for 5 years now. I wonder if it's going to be 3 more movies of a pro-environmentalism, or if he'll address other social issues (equal rights, immigration, etc.). Probably not, since those hot-topic issues divide people and would result in the sequels not doing as well financially. Maybe Cameron should have just made a Captain Planet movie instead of 3 more Avatar films.
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6:12PM on 08/20/2014
LOL nothing like self centered assholes telling everyone how they should live.
LOL nothing like self centered assholes telling everyone how they should live.
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8:52PM on 08/20/2014
sure, just continue killing our future, just keep ignoring the damage we are doing to ourselves, makes perfect common sense, right?
sure, just continue killing our future, just keep ignoring the damage we are doing to ourselves, makes perfect common sense, right?
9:30PM on 08/20/2014
Stop parroting your idiot professors. Tell them that the flatulent 1960s ended over half a century ago.
Stop parroting your idiot professors. Tell them that the flatulent 1960s ended over half a century ago.
5:28PM on 08/20/2014
Thank God. I don't know where we'd be without a socially conscious Avatar film.
Thank God. I don't know where we'd be without a socially conscious Avatar film.
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5:10PM on 08/20/2014
I think most people are in the same boat. They don't fucking care as long as it entertains and isn't too preachy. Beat anyone over the head with your politics and you'll just create a lousy movie.
I think most people are in the same boat. They don't fucking care as long as it entertains and isn't too preachy. Beat anyone over the head with your politics and you'll just create a lousy movie.
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8:55PM on 08/20/2014
its not politics, its reality. seems like quite a few people disagreed about the first one being lousy.
its not politics, its reality. seems like quite a few people disagreed about the first one being lousy.
9:27PM on 08/20/2014
There is no reality in this film. Neither on the surface, nor on the deeper levels which don't exist.
There is no reality in this film. Neither on the surface, nor on the deeper levels which don't exist.
+1
4:17PM on 08/20/2014
So little blue Na'vi will be shot in the streets by Na'vi police?
So little blue Na'vi will be shot in the streets by Na'vi police?
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5:20PM on 08/20/2014
....then they'll be brought back to life by dumping buckets of ice water on them.
....then they'll be brought back to life by dumping buckets of ice water on them.
3:40PM on 08/20/2014
I hope he addresses overbearing governmental interference in the life of citizens.
I hope he addresses overbearing governmental interference in the life of citizens.
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3:35PM on 08/20/2014

Ummm...

Who cares?
Who cares?
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3:22PM on 08/20/2014
Ummm, when it comes to actually writing movies, I have no faith in James Cameron. He's an excellent filmmaker. No one gets visuals quite like Cameron. But the actual writing of the movie is better left to someone with talent. I personally did not like Avatar. It had my interest going in but just didn't deliver for me. Special effects are great and all, but when that's all you have to show in your movie - it's a waste of time. Without a story the whole movie is useless. And Avatar had
Ummm, when it comes to actually writing movies, I have no faith in James Cameron. He's an excellent filmmaker. No one gets visuals quite like Cameron. But the actual writing of the movie is better left to someone with talent. I personally did not like Avatar. It had my interest going in but just didn't deliver for me. Special effects are great and all, but when that's all you have to show in your movie - it's a waste of time. Without a story the whole movie is useless. And Avatar had such a weak story that I could care less about seeing a tree in 3-D.

Down vote away people.
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6:38PM on 08/20/2014
Are you kidding? Cameron has written some of the best screenplays to ever come out of Hollywood. The Abyss & Strange Days scripts are simply flawless. To this day writers still rip off Cameron's powerful character arc from Aliens. And his Terminator scripts are some of the tightest and most structurally sound action/suspense scripts around. There is a reason his films still influence cinema today, and pretty visuals isn't it.
Are you kidding? Cameron has written some of the best screenplays to ever come out of Hollywood. The Abyss & Strange Days scripts are simply flawless. To this day writers still rip off Cameron's powerful character arc from Aliens. And his Terminator scripts are some of the tightest and most structurally sound action/suspense scripts around. There is a reason his films still influence cinema today, and pretty visuals isn't it.
7:10PM on 08/21/2014
It's pretty easy to do, when you're essentially writing the same movie over and over again.

Semi-hot rugged female lead? Check.

Soft spoken and sensitive but tough male love interest? Check.

Weaselly corporate snake? Check.

Loose cannon military crank in bed with the weaselly corporate snake? Check.

Anti-capitalist environmentalist sermon? Check.

Honestly, the guy is the activist version of Michael Bay. Abyss was hardly a perfect screenplay, particularly the preachy
It's pretty easy to do, when you're essentially writing the same movie over and over again.

Semi-hot rugged female lead? Check.

Soft spoken and sensitive but tough male love interest? Check.

Weaselly corporate snake? Check.

Loose cannon military crank in bed with the weaselly corporate snake? Check.

Anti-capitalist environmentalist sermon? Check.

Honestly, the guy is the activist version of Michael Bay. Abyss was hardly a perfect screenplay, particularly the preachy climax. Terminator was good. Aliens was good. But the rest? Blecch. Hell, Avatar was just a rip off of Dances with Wolves anyway. I'm sorry, but pretty visuals is in fact it.

Weasely
2:55PM on 08/20/2014

Alienating Fans?

What kind of idiot would not be in support of protecting the planet they live on? People NEED to be bashed over the head with these issues because not nearly enough people seem to give a damn about this planet. I hope Cameron pushes these issues even harder in the sequels.
What kind of idiot would not be in support of protecting the planet they live on? People NEED to be bashed over the head with these issues because not nearly enough people seem to give a damn about this planet. I hope Cameron pushes these issues even harder in the sequels.
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3:04PM on 08/20/2014
Fuck the issues, and fuck this planet. We are only going to accelerate to the point of oblivion anyways. A science experiment such as the human race will always end in failure, "saving the trees" and all that bullshit is just idiotic.
Fuck the issues, and fuck this planet. We are only going to accelerate to the point of oblivion anyways. A science experiment such as the human race will always end in failure, "saving the trees" and all that bullshit is just idiotic.
3:39PM on 08/20/2014
JimThePariah sounds like he's been listening to Rust from True Detective a bit too much. You got a demon in you little man. Someone should put you down.
JimThePariah sounds like he's been listening to Rust from True Detective a bit too much. You got a demon in you little man. Someone should put you down.
3:59PM on 08/20/2014
Complete nihilism was around before True Detective ya know. It's a futile point to go against the current. From the moment we're born we are all headed the same way. That is the fate of all life. I enjoy the arts and everything while I'm here, but to go against science/god is completely anti productive and illogical.
Complete nihilism was around before True Detective ya know. It's a futile point to go against the current. From the moment we're born we are all headed the same way. That is the fate of all life. I enjoy the arts and everything while I'm here, but to go against science/god is completely anti productive and illogical.
5:10PM on 08/20/2014
the planet's fine.
the planet's fine.
9:03PM on 08/20/2014
Wow, at least there is one voice of sanity here, thank you J.Buton!
To mr. Thunderstorm; the planet is fine you say? Did you gety powers like Daredevil or did you only lose the ability to see?
Wow, at least there is one voice of sanity here, thank you J.Buton!
To mr. Thunderstorm; the planet is fine you say? Did you gety powers like Daredevil or did you only lose the ability to see?
9:25PM on 08/20/2014
Nobody needs anything, even if you type it out in all caps.

Has the thought of just leaving people alone ever cross your mind?
Nobody needs anything, even if you type it out in all caps.

Has the thought of just leaving people alone ever cross your mind?
7:12AM on 08/21/2014
You could cut down 100 acres of rain forest a day and nothing would happen for over 1000 years. Plus there're thousands of products in the rain forest's that are extremely toxic and cancerous. So the way I see it...burn it down. Just kidding, but people aren't hurting the planet. Changes in climate are natural. If we drift 10 ft. closer or further from the Sun we'll either burn, or freeze. It's all in nature's/God/insert whatever your belief is, hands.
You could cut down 100 acres of rain forest a day and nothing would happen for over 1000 years. Plus there're thousands of products in the rain forest's that are extremely toxic and cancerous. So the way I see it...burn it down. Just kidding, but people aren't hurting the planet. Changes in climate are natural. If we drift 10 ft. closer or further from the Sun we'll either burn, or freeze. It's all in nature's/God/insert whatever your belief is, hands.
6:07PM on 08/21/2014
I don't believe in coincidences, so I say climate change (which does happen naturally) has been speeded up by the Industrial Age, and everything that came after it. The idea behind stopping is to slow the acceleration, and increase our species life on this planet. Selfish, maybe, but so is the alternative (we're more resilient than some organisms).
I don't believe in coincidences, so I say climate change (which does happen naturally) has been speeded up by the Industrial Age, and everything that came after it. The idea behind stopping is to slow the acceleration, and increase our species life on this planet. Selfish, maybe, but so is the alternative (we're more resilient than some organisms).
6:30PM on 08/21/2014
Then how do you explain all of the climate changes that took place before the Industrial Age?
Then how do you explain all of the climate changes that took place before the Industrial Age?
2:45PM on 08/20/2014
Still boggles my mind on how much money the 1st movie made.
Still boggles my mind on how much money the 1st movie made.
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