Hollywood filmmaker James Cameron reflected upon his upcoming Avatar sequel and how it will focus on some of his lessons of evolving as a man, likening the testosterone that fueled him in his youth to a “toxin” that he had to cleanse himself of.
Cameron shared his reflection in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter (THR) and while he seemed to be denouncing what the woke left refers to as “toxic masculinity,” he also praised the concept of fatherhood and how the family unit can be a “fortress.”
“I thought, ‘I’m going to work out a lot of my stuff, artistically, that I’ve gone through as a parent of five kids,’” Cameron told the outlet. “The overarching idea is, the family is the fortress. It’s our greatest weakness and our greatest strength. I thought, ‘I can write the hell out of this. I know what it is to be the asshole dad.'”
Cameron compared this with his younger self that took great risks, referring to himself as a “testosterone-poisoned young man.”
“A lot of things I did earlier, I wouldn’t do — career-wise and just risks that you take as a wild, testosterone-poisoned young man. I always think of [testosterone] as a toxin that you have to slowly work out of your system,” he said.
Whether this means that the Avatar sequel will be a woke sermon about cleansing oneself of toxic masculinity or a rather anti-woke message about growing into a responsible father for the good of one’s family remains to be seen, since few details have been revealed about the film’s story. Cameron has undergone a profound transformation in his personal life in the past two decades by staying married to his wife, Suzy Amis Cameron, for over 20 years (after four divorces), fathering three daughters, and adopting a fourth in 2020. He also has a 29-year-old daughter with his ex-wife Linda Hamilton.
Cameron also previously expressed his fatigue with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) for not portraying heroic men with families.
“It’s just, come on guys, there are other stories to tell besides hypergonadal males (men who produce too much testosterone) without families doing death-defying things for two hours and wrecking cities in the process. It’s like, oy!” he said in 2018.
“I’ve found myself as a father of five starting to think about what would an ‘Avatar’ story be like if it was a family drama. What if it was ‘The Godfather?’” he added. “It’s a generational family saga. That’s very different than the first film. There’s still the same setting and the same respect for the shock of the new. We still want to show you things that you haven’t even seen or imagined, but the story is very different. It’s a continuation of the same characters … but what happens when warriors who are willing to go on suicide charges and leap off cliffs, what happens when they grow up and have their own kids?”
All that said, Cameron hinted that Avatar will retain its famed environmental messaging while perhaps maybe dialing back the heavy-handedness.
“You can’t hit environmental messaging over the head,” Cameron said. “People are angsty enough. We’ll be injecting this film into a marketplace in a different time. And maybe things that were over the horizon in 2009 are upon us now. Maybe it’s not entertainment anymore.”