Much of the conversation surrounding James Cameron’s long-awaited “Avatar: The Way of Water” has centered around its three-hour runtime, which has hardly stopped the film from topping the box office around the world. In a new interview with Esquire Middle East, Cameron revealed that the film would have been 10 minutes longer had he not cut scenes of gun violence. The filmmaker said he was no longer interested in using guns in his action scenes due to rampant gun violence in the United States.
“I actually spent about 10 minutes of the movie focusing on the gunplay action,” Cameron said. “I wanted to get rid of some of the ugliness, to find a balance between light and dark. You must have conflict. Violence and action are the same thing, depending on how you look at it. It’s every action filmmaker’s dilemma, and I’m known as an action filmmaker.
Cameron has previously said in interviews, “I look back at some of the movies I’ve done and I don’t know if I want to do that movie now. I don’t know that I want to fetishize guns, as I did in a few ‘Terminator’ movies in our current world 30-plus years ago. What’s happening with guns in our society turns my stomach.”
“I’m happy to live in New Zealand, where they banned all assault rifles two weeks after that horrible mosque shooting a few years ago,” Cameron added in an aside.
Given Cameron’s comments, it’s safe to assume that the action scenes of “The Terminator” franchise will look a little different when it returns to the screen. The director recently headlined the “Smartless” podcast talking about a new “Terminator” movie. The franchise has experienced back-to-back box office flops (“Terminator Genisys”) in recent years (“Terminator: Dark Fate”). “Dark Fate” was a particularly huge box office bomb with only $261 million worldwide.
As Cameron said on the podcast: “If I were to do another ‘Terminator’ film and maybe try to reboot that franchise, which is in talks, but nothing has been decided, I’d do a lot more about the AI aspect of it. Bad robots gone mad. “
“Avatar: The Way of Water” is now playing in theaters nationwide