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Claims of James Cameron ripping off Pocahontas abound after comments on Marvel

The backlash from comic book movie fans was immediate and swift. #AvatarTheWayOfWater

James Cameron has officially joined the ranks of Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola by being the latest movie director to deride the supposedly shallow storytelling found in Marvel and DC movies. However, defenders of superhero flicks are now pointing out the widely held opinion that Cameron’s Avatar is itself quite derivate of other stories, such as Pocahontas.

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Cameron made his remarks while talking with the New York Times about his upcoming film, Avatar: The Way of Water, as We Got This Covered previously reported:

“When I look at these big, spectacular films — I’m looking at you, Marvel and DC — it doesn’t matter how old the characters are, they all act like they’re in college. They have relationships, but they really don’t. They never hang up their spurs because of their kids. The things that really ground us and give us power, love, and a purpose? Those characters don’t experience it, and I think that’s not the way to make movies.”

The backlash from comic book movie fans was immediate and swift, with one commentator going so far as to say the main character in Avatar is not memorable, especially when compared to Iron Man or Batman.

Other Twitter users agreed that it would take a high amount of concentration to even recall even one Avatar character’s name.

Another person gave their assessment that Cameron was being hypocritical considering he basically “copied and pasted the Disney Pocahontas story, changed it to blue aliens” to create Avatar.

The Pocahontas critique that has been attached to Avatar since its release was wholly reinvigorated when the topic began to trend on Twitter Wednesday in response to Cameron’s remarks.

And of course, the accusation that Avatar ripped off FernGully also came up once again.

One Twitter user was not so quick to throw Cameron under the bus and completely rejected the idea he actually ripped off Disney’s Pocahontas for Avatar, owing to the tale having many timeless tropes that pre-dated the animated musical.

One commentator also gave major props to Cameron for having the ambition to actually have his actors be submerged underwater for the forthcoming sequel, unlike Aquaman, the DC film that similarly takes place under the ocean.

Another Twitter user wondered if Cameron, the man who made his directorial debut with Piranha II: The Spawning, could truly make such an argument about cinematic integrity with a straight face.

Avatar: The Way of Water comes to theaters on Dec. 16.


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Danny Peterson
Danny Peterson covers entertainment news for WGTC and has previously enjoyed writing about housing, homelessness, the coronavirus pandemic, historic 2020 Oregon wildfires, and racial justice protests. Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Danny received his Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Alaska Southeast and a Master's in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon. He has written for The Portland Observer, worked as a digital enterprise reporter at KOIN 6 News, and is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary 'Escape from Eagle Creek.'