Feeney : You said something interesting about the Lucas universe, a few years ago. You were not knocking Lucas at all, but comparing Star Wars to the science fiction you were fed upon, growing up—Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, whoever—you argued that science fiction is “about ideas,” and that Lucas had lost that thread.
Cameron: No, I meant that he made it kind of the hero cycle. He made it a mythic archetype and there was a joyfulness and a celebration of that, of the energy and the dynamics of that. And that’s great, that’s wonderful. Unfortunately, what happened was when Star Wars came out, all of Hollywood just went that way and Hollywood forgot that science fiction historically through the ‘50’s and ‘60’s and ‘70’s up till Star Wars had been a dystopian kind of genre. Science Fiction was originally about the problems of technology and that unsettling feeling we get as our world changes through technology, into the future. As storytellers, we’ve lost all that. It just seemed like all of a sudden you couldn’t tell that story anymore. So Avatar was—I suppose you could say is an attempt to have our cake and eat it, too. Do the mythic, heroic story with a sense of destiny and big epic battles and all that, but at the same time have the dystopian, cautionary component in play, too. Have one be the spoonful of sugar to the other.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
For Written By magazine, FX Feeney talks to James Cameron about writing Avatar (mp3 audio file or transcript)