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James Cameron Claims That Thanos' VFX Doesn't Even Come Close To The Na'vi In Avatar

With "Avatar: The Way of Water" on its way, director James Cameron has been hard at work promoting his upcoming big budget blockbuster in advance of its premiere. Unsurprisingly, Cameron is plenty confident about his "Avatar" sequel, appearing to believe wholeheartedly in his latest directorial endeavor.

Cameron at one point revealed that for "Way of Water" to break even, the film will have to rank among some of the highest grossing releases of all time, suggesting that, stakes are perhaps historically high for "Way of Water" to succeed financially. Nevertheless, Cameron isn't worried about a "Way of Water" flop, describing the fact that he finds the film personally satisfying as more important to him than widespread popularity among the moviegoing public.

Of course, Cameron does ultimately think viewers will enjoy "Way of Water." For instance, in response to criticism that the main characters of "Avatar" are easily forgettable, Cameron claimed that "Way of Water" will help fans remember characters' names. One particular quality of the film that Cameron singled out in another interview is its visual effects, which the esteemed director specifically characterized as better than the computer graphics used to bring the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Thanos to life.

James Cameron credits Wētā FX for the quality of Avatar: The Way of Water's CG visuals

On December 7, a little over a week out from the theatrical premiere of "Avatar: The Way of Water," ComicBook.com published a video interview with James Cameron about both his upcoming sequel and the "Avatar" franchise at large. At roughly the 1:35 mark, interviewer Brandon Davis asks Cameron how the recent preponderance of effects-heavy superhero films might affect his filmmaking, and specifically whether or not he feels the need to rise to the occasion and rival big budget superhero franchises.

Cameron first replied that he credits the growth in popularity of superhero movies with raising the quality of VFX across the board, given the increased attention paid to art, programming, and the development of new tools in the CG industry. Then, about 2 minutes and 30 seconds into the interview, Cameron praises special effects company Wētā FX for the high quality of the visuals in "Way of Water." "Wētā FX, as it's now known, is. The. Best. ILM does great work, but when it comes to the kind of emotive facial stuff that we're doing... I mean, Thanos? Come on. Give me a break. You saw this movie. It's not even close," he continues.

According to a Hollywood Reporter profile, "Way of Water" includes 3,350 distinct visual effects shots, so from the sound of it, Wētā FX's ability to surpass Thanos in Cameron's estimation was a Herculean undertaking.