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James Cameron Is Not Sweating A Potential Avatar: The Way Of Water Flop

Having to make a sequel for the biggest and most successful movie of all time would be a tall and stressful task for most people, but not James Cameron. In fact, the possibility of "Avatar: The Way of Water" flopping — or as Cameron puts it in a new interview, "falling on its a**" — is a thought that he claims rarely enters his mind. Why? Well, the Oscar-winning director just couldn't care less. 

"I don't worry about it," Cameron told Variety in a new interview published on Wednesday, December 7. "I don't think anything one does artistically in life should be determined by the trolls and the naysayers. You just go where you think it makes sense."

Now, for Cameron to say he doesn't care at all about how "The Way of Water" does at the box office or with critics would mean that many of his prior statements about the "Avatar" franchise and how its future depends on the success of the next two sequels were either false or exaggerated. For those who aren't aware, "Avatar 3" is already on Disney's official schedule for a December 2024 release date (via Insider). Cameron told Total Film in November 2022 that the franchise's lifespan would rely on the box-office and critical success of "Avatar 2" and "Avatar 3." He said, "The market could be telling us we're done in three months, or we might be semi-done, meaning: 'OK, let's complete the story within movie three, and not go on endlessly,' if it's just not profitable." 

Fast-forward to December 2022 and Cameron is singing a much different tune ...

'You make it, in a sense, for yourself'

According to James Cameron, one of the biggest reasons he's not sweating the possibility of "Avatar: The Way of Water" flopping with critics and moviegoers is that he ultimately makes films for himself, rather than the audience. "You make it, in a sense, for yourself," Cameron told Variety. "But my tastes are so kind of blue collar and general," he continued. "They're not esoteric, my personal tastes." 

Over the course of his career, Cameron has been known to make jumps to different film genres and industries, which has allowed him to work on different stuff that he truly loves and appreciates. The ocean, for example, is something that he is famously captivated by, with Cameron doing documentaries and elaborate deep-sea dives in his spare time, which is why it took so long for an "Avatar" sequel to be made. The hobby ended up becoming his ultimate inspiration for "Avatar: The Way of Water," which is due out on December 16. 

"I love the oceans," Cameron told CNN in September 2022. "I've been passionate about the ocean before I even met an ocean," he said. And it's because of this that "The Abyss" director truly believes in his heart of hearts that "The Way of Water" won't flop, as he discussed with Variety below.

'If I like my movie, I know other people are gonna like my movie'

When all is said and done, James Cameron doesn't feel the need to sweat a potential "Avatar: The Way of Water" flop because he truly believes that audiences will appreciate and love the film the same way he does. 

"If I like my movie, I know other people are gonna like my movie," he declared to Variety. "It's very simplistic, really, ultimately." For him, making a cinematic love letter to the ocean and all its amazing attributes was viewed as the perfect recipe for success. The "richness of the colors, the profusion of life, the diversity, the way in which things move, locomotion, all their different schemes," as Cameron describes them, were all outstanding ingredients for his big screen visual feast — to the point where Cameron was almost too deep in love.

"I could have made a whole movie, a 3-hour movie, that was just about the reef," the filmmaker jokingly admitted to Variety. "I had to kind of pull way back and say, 'Alright, we've got a story to tell about people, about family, about conflict, about conservation, obviously.'"