Veteran filmmaker James Cameron has criticised the aspect of character development in superhero films from Marvel and DC Studios, adding "that's not the way to make movies".
The director said the maturity that is lacking in the characters from these tentpole franchises is depicted in his upcoming sci-fi adventure movie "Avatar: The Way of Water" through its protagonists Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana).
"The Way of Water", the sequel to the 2009 film "Avatar", will see Jake and Neytiri go to great lengths to keep their family safe.
"Zoe and Sam now play parents, 15 years later. In the first movie, Sam’s character leaps off his flying creature and essentially changes the course of history as a result of this crazy, almost suicidal leap of faith.
"And Zoe’s character leaps off a limb and assumes there’s going to be some nice big leaves down there that can cushion her fall. But when you’re a parent, you don’t think that way. So for me, as a parent of five kids, I’m saying, ‘What happens when those characters mature and realize that they have a responsibility outside their own survival?'" Cameron told The New York Times newspaper.
Citing the example of Marvel and DC, the celebrated director said the characters in the spectacle films hailing from these stables "don't experience" relationships in the real sense.
"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," he continued.
Interestingly, Saldana is also part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, under which she plays Gamora in "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise. The actor will reprise her role in the third part of "Guardians" slated for a summer 2023 release.
In the past, filmmakers outside the genre like Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola have criticised superhero films terming them "theme parks" and "despicable", respectively.