COMMENT |James Cameron has made his name as one of the most original and visionary directors in the world of cinema. From the very beginning of his career, from the humblest of beginning, the director of 'Avatar' has always had a very clear idea of where he wanted to go with his productions, and famously tells a story of playing hardball with a studio even when he was so poor that he had no food in his refrigerator.
But cinema has been an aspect of the arts in which it has always been acceptable, and even encouraged, to wear influences openly one one's sleeve. This is something that James Cameron has always done in his previous work, and some of his detractors claim that it is even something that he has done too readily to the extent of plagiarism, or at least producing movies that are uncomfortably close to those that influenced them.
However, such criticisms don't concern Cameron too much. He has always been entirely consumed with producing the biggest and most affecting cinematic experiences possible, and being considered an auteur rather than the producer of the most original movies or storylines. Much like Quentin Tarantino, Cameron is happy to pay tribute to the films that he rates and treasures in his own movies almost as an acknowledgement to his own regard for cinema as a medium.
It will thus be interesting to see what movies influence the 'Avatar' director as he begins the process of filming the 'Avatar' sequels. We know, for example, that Cameron has recently spoken extremely highly of 'Gravity', so it will be intriguing to see whether any of the elements of this claustrophobic thriller have an influence over the forthcoming 'Avatar' movies.
This would be an intriguing prospect as this movie has a rather different atmosphere to the original 'Avatar' movie, but has been particularly praised for the quality of the implementation of its 3D effects. While Cameron is already a big advocate of 3D movies, his enthusiasm for 'Gravity', which he has stated publicly, has rekindled his belief in the genre, and it seems likely that Cameron will try to incorporate some of the elements of this movie, or at least make a nod to it, in 'Avatar 2'.
Financially, the two movies have been compared with one another, as 'Avatar' opened the door for 3D films to make serious money, while 'Gravity' has rekindled this. 'Avatar', of course, had much greater takings than 'Gravity', which was nevertheless a box office success, but the influence of 'Gravity' on the 3D genre may be shown to be wide-reaching by the time 'Avatar 2' comes out.
More articles from Christopher Morris: