Avatar trolls and other critics of the multi-billion grossing blockbuster love to say that the movie has made little cultural impact despite its massive success at the box office and how many can’t even remember the characters’ names, but James Cameron isn’t having any of that. Speaking in a recent interview for Empire’s upcoming world-exclusive Avatar: The Way of Water issue, the legendary director behind Aliens and The Terminator hit back at haters, telling the publication that “nobody gives a sh*t” about their criticism because at the end of the day, most of them will rewatch the movie and “shut the f*ck up” after reacquainting themselves with Pandora and realizing how wrong they are. Cameron goes on to say that he doesn’t want to hear anyone complain about Avatar: The Way of Water’s three-hour runtime, as people have grown accustomed to binge-watching entire seasons of shows in one sitting thanks to the release habits of popular streamers. Avatar: The Way of Water is set for release on December 16, 2022, although it remains unclear whether it’ll be able to beat (or even come close to) the original 2009 film at the box office.
“The trolls will have it that nobody gives a shit and they can’t remember the characters’ names or one damn thing that happened in the movie,” Cameron said. “Then they see the movie again and go, ‘Oh, okay, excuse me, let me just shut the fuck up right now.’ So I’m not worried about that.”
“I don’t want anybody whining about length when they sit and binge-watch [television] for eight hours,” the director added. “I can almost write this part of the review. ‘The agonisingly long three-hour movie…’ It’s like, give me a fucking break. I’ve watched my kids sit and do five one-hour episodes in a row. Here’s the big social paradigm shift that has to happen: it’s okay to get up and go pee.”
It’s inevitable – whenever somebody or something encounters gigantic levels of success, it always begets some kind of backlash. And so while James Cameron’s Avatar became the biggest box-office smash of all time back in 2009 – ringing up box office receipts to the tune of $2.84 billion and counting, overtaking Avengers: Endgame after a 2021 re-release in China, and set to add to that total when it returns to cinemas here in September – there are plenty of people out there who love to pour scorn on the sci-fi epic, questioning its staying power, relevancy, and quality, as well as the desire for Cameron’s upcoming quartet of sequels. But there’s a reason the first Avatar made that much money in the first place – and the filmmaker himself really isn’t worried about what certain quarters of the internet may say about it.