James Cameron’s Avatar, the highest-grossing film of all time, re-released in theatres across the world on Friday, September 23. The film is getting a third run at the box office since its original 2009 release and this time, it is just months before the release of its long-awaited sequel Avatar: The Way of Water. In a recent media interaction ahead of the re-release, director James Cameron spoke about the film’s impact on cinema. Also read: Avatar The Way of Water trailer is here. Watch the Na’vi explore the oceans
Avatar was considered groundbreaking in terms of its visual effects and scale when it hit the theatres in 2009. The film grossed $2.8 billion globally, becoming the most successful film of all time, displacing James’ own 1997 blockbuster Titanic. However, over the years, many have asked if the film has left a lasting impression on cinema as it isn’t as visible in pop culture as some of other sci-fi/fantasy hits like Star Wars, Avengers, and even Jurassic Park.
In an interaction with global media earlier this week, James opened up about Avatar’s legacy. He said, “I would say that the 3D was embraced in general for a period of time. I mean, Avatar won best cinematography with a 3D digital camera. No digital camera had ever won the best cinematography Oscar before. And then two out of the three subsequent years, the same cameras were used by the cinematographers that won the Oscars. So you’ve got three out of four years where digital cinematography was embraced by the Academy.”
The director added that it was a short-term impact of the film’s success but the jury is out for its long-term impact. “It had an impact on the way films were presented that’s now just sort of accepted and part of the zeitgeist and how it’s done. Terms of long-term cultural impact, well, I guess we’ll find out if people show up for Avatar 2,” he added.
The sequel Avatar: The Way of Water is also directed by James Cameron and brings back Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang from the first film, while introducing Kate Winslet and Michelle Yeoh. The film is second in a planned five-part franchise, and will release in theatres on December 16, 2022.