James Cameron Would Be Hesitant To Make A Film As Violent As The Terminator Today

Make no mistake, Cameron has never been an apolitical filmmaker — from the anti-colonialism of “Aliens” to the exploration of the morality of tech in “Terminator 2.” Cameron recently told Esquire Middle East that “I’m happy to be living in New Zealand where they just banned all assault rifles two weeks after that horrific mosque shooting a couple of years ago.” But his political push forward in the “Avatar” franchise was particularly informed by parts of the filmmaker’s own personal life. In 2012, Cameron and his family decided to switch to a vegan diet, out of a concern for sustainability and lowering their overall carbon footprint. 

The world of “Avatar” comprises many of Cameron’s cinematic trademarks, but its fantastical, escapist depiction of Pandora and the spiritual denizens who protect it are representative of his own environmentalist politics. One can argue its sequel, “The Way of Water,” is one big statement to “save the whales!” Cameron’s even brought his newfound disgust with gratuitous gun violence into the “Avatar” sequel:

“I actually cut about 10 minutes of the movie targeting gunplay action. I wanted to get rid of some of the ugliness, to find a balance between light and dark. You have to have conflict, of course. Violence and action are the same thing, depending on how you look at it. This is the dilemma of every action filmmaker, and I’m known as an action filmmaker.”

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