James Cameron's Avengers Fatigue

By the time Avatar 2 hits theaters, the first of four sequels in the sci-fi franchise from director James Cameron, 11 years will have passed since the first film hit theaters. The landscape of the blockbuster film has shifted considerably, especially when it comes to blockbusters. The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to be a game changer, and when the first Avatar debuted it had only just begun. But Cameron has been paying attention, and he hopes audiences will start to get tired of The Avengers soon.

Speaking to press while promoting his upcoming documentary series AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, Cameron had somewhat disparaging comments about the love for the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies despite still enjoying them (via Entertainment Weekly):

“I’m hoping we’re going to start getting Avenger fatigue. Not that I don’t love the movies. It’s just, Come on, guys, there are other stories to tell besides, you know, hypogonadal males without families doing death-defying things for two hours and wrecking cities in the process.”

Hypogonadal males? Is he saying these superheroes have a deficiency in sexual hormones? Does he even know who Tony Stark is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Bruce Banner was desperate to reunite with Betty Ross in The Incredible Hulk. Steve Rogers might have been shy and unsure, but he certainly had plenty of feelings for Peggy Carter. Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, was basically a frat boy in space, always hooking up with alien women. T’Challa has a soft spot for his ex-girlfriend Nakia. Spider-Man is full of hormones in high school and wants nothing more than to date Liz. Even the demigod Thor couldn’t resist the charm of a human woman from Earth.

This perspective seems odd because it’s almost as if James Cameron is implying that the Marvel heroes are lustful or aroused enough to feel like characters he can fully enjoy. But then again, we’re talking about a filmmaker whose script for a Spider-Man movie involved Spidey and Mary Jane having sex on the Brooklyn Bridge with a little bondage thrown in there thanks to his spider webs. So James Cameron apparently likes his superheroes to smash.

Furthermore, the fact that he laments that The Avengers don’t have families sounds like it comes from someone who hasn’t really been paying attention. First of all, Hawkeye has a wife and kids, so that breaks his argument right here. Besides that, each of the superheroes all have people in their life that they care about, but obviously the superheroics put a wrench in that. That doesn’t stop them from still having feelings for these people, even if they’re not a traditional family.

Tony Stark has constantly been driven by his love for Pepper Potts and his desire to protect her. Thor has always been concerned with keeping his family, such as his father Odin and mother Frigga, safe from danger. He even protected his villainous brother Loki when it was called for. On top of that, he was always ready to do whatever it took to protect Jane Foster. Meanwhile, Bruce Banner did whatever he could to protect Betty Ross, even when he was the Hulk, and there was also that budding romance with Natasha Romanoff too. Plus, Star-Lord carried his family (his late mother and estranged father) with him even if they weren’t literally around him. And T’Challa’s family couldn’t have been more important to him in Black Panther.

So as much as the filmmaker says “not that I don’t love the movies,” James Cameron’s Avengers fatigue would indicate that he doesn’t connect with them the way that millions of other fans have. But he also had problems with Wonder Woman’s version of a strong female character, so maybe he’s just out of touch.

Obviously Marvel Studios is doing something right when they have a huge fanbase caring so much about these characters. They may not have the kind of family that James Cameron likes to put in his movies, but that doesn’t mean these characters should be disregarded as nothing more than defying death and wrecking cities. But maybe he can do better with his “generational family saga” at the center of the Avatar sequels. We’re always ready for James Cameron to blow us away.

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