James Cameron says Marvel films ‘don’t feel epic’ despite ‘having epic events’

‘Avatar’ director suggested that overuse of CGI prevents films from feeling ‘truly epic’

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 19 January 2022 09:48
Dune Official Trailer

James Cameron has said that Marvel films don’t feel “epic” to him despite featuring “epic events”.

The director, who will release the first of his four Avatar sequels in December 2022, made the comment while comparing Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films to 2021 film Dune.

Speaking to Dune’s director Denis Villeneuve as part of a Variety interview series, Cameron said: “The thing that strikes me about Dune is that it’s truly epic.”

He added: “When I use the word ‘epic,’ I’m using it in a very specific way, meaning like a David Lean film, or to a very large extent like the Lord of the Rings films.

“But when I think of films that have epic events in them, like let’s say a Marvel Universe film where whole cities get destroyed and so on, they don’t feel epic to me.”

Cameron said that Villeneuve “seems to have the discipline, the vocabulary, of actual epic filmmaking, that kind of grand proscenium frame that’s just presented and takes its time with the music and so on”.

In response, Villeneuve told Cameron: “I would say that the idea [with Dune] was to try to bring back humanity to its right position in the ecosystem, like in the book where the humans are not in control of nature.”

Timothée Chalamet in Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’

Following the success of Dune, which is an adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel, Villeneuve will return to direct a sequel.

Villeneuve’s other credits include Prisoners, Enemy. Arrival and Blade Runner 2049.

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