LOS ANGELES — As a new 4K rerelease of Avatar hits theaters just months before its long awaited sequel arrives, filmmaker James Cameron has told audience members they haven’t truly seen an Avatar film unless it’s been in a way that he saw a little action on.
“Sadly, there are more options than ever when it comes to watching Avatar,” he said. “I’d really rather you go check out the new IMAX release, that’s the best option. I really can’t believe how good we have this baby looking. But if you can’t make it to one of those, just make sure you don’t watch it on some goddamned phone screen or something, that’s all I ask.”
“Unless you do it straight up and I make a couple bucks,” he added. “It’s okay to watch my shit on YouTube if you pay to do it, just to clarify my position on everything here.”
Cameron’s perspective has proved controversial, although many have defended his right to dictate what constitutes a true viewing of his work.
“He’s the artist, and he’s the one that gets to dictate these things,” said Tracy Calkins, a film critic for The Los Angeles Times. “Christopher Nolan is allowed to insist on shooting everything on film instead of digital, even though a majority of people can’t tell the difference, but we let him because it’s important that our artists’ whims and weird fucking ideas are taken care of at all times. If that’s how we get The Dark Knight, then whatever, you know what I mean?”
Dedicated fans of Avatar largely admired Cameron’s commitment to his vision.
“I met James Cameron one time at a convention,” said Randy Cobble, who considers Avatar his favorite movie. “I told him I’d seen the movie 54 times, and he asked how many times I’d paid to see it. I told him seven times in the theaters and then I bought it on DVD and again on Blu Ray. He asked what good me watching the same DVD over and over at home was doing him and asked me for a couple bucks out of my wallet. It was pretty intense. I just think of it like I had my own little meet and greet with my favorite director.”
As of press time, Cameron had announced “a bunch more” Avatar sequels to be released over the next few decades.