James Cameron has become well known for being behind some of the biggest sci-fi blockbusters of all time. When he was given the option of taking on a sequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien, though, he was warned for several reasons. Having had a big hit with Terminator, some people thought it best that Cameron didn’t get involved in the Alien franchise, as they believed it would be accredited to Ridley Scott if the movie was a success.
Speaking to GQ in a lengthy career retrospect, Cameron talked about Aliens, revealing that he almost walked away from the movie when there were issues with the casting of Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley. However, it appears that little hurdle would not have even existed if the writer/director had listened to the warnings he was given. He said:
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“I had people who were trying to advise me on my career after Terminator say, ‘Absolutely do not do this film’ meaning Aliens. They said, ‘If it’s good, they’re going to attribute it to Ridley, and if it’s bad, it’s all you. There’s no upside. And I thought you’re probably right and that very logical, but I just dig it and I wanna do it. I just like it.”
As it turned out, many other people liked it too, and there is very little doubt that the film is James Cameron’s movie, which his action set pieces and military force taking over from Scott’s original claustrophobic nightmare. As one of the biggest action movies of the decade, it is fair to say he made the right choice sticking to his guns.
Can James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water Be Another Big Hit Sequel?
20th Century Studios
Having already created two of the greatest movie sequels ever in Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the question of the moment is, can James Cameron pull off the same magic trick again? Avatar is the biggest movie of all time, and while there is no doubt this December’s sequel release will be big – currently tracking for a $175 million domestic opening – it is unlikely to hit quite the same heights in box office numbers.
Whether it will be a better film is something that audiences will have to make their minds up on next month, but with a longer run time than the first movie and an emotional story to tell, Cameron will be hoping for good things from the audience reviews when the film debuts.
This will be something that the studio will also be hoping for, as recent reports have suggested that the movie is going to need to become one of the top 5 movies of all time to break even. Having just received a boost from the confirmation that the film will be getting a China release, very few people would bet against it passing most of the other movie releases of the year to claim one of those top spots.
Avatar: The Way of Water releases on December 16, while Avatar has returned to Disney+ following its cinematic re-release in September.