Director James Cameron has slammed the trend for simultaneously releasing films on Netflix and in cinemas, saying the “sanctity of theatregoing” should be preserved.
The Avatar boss will release the fantasy adventure’s sequel in December 2020, but is hoping that films opening in cinemas will not have become a thing of the past by then.
Dunkirk director Christopher Nolan has also criticised the new release tactic and Cameron said he agreed with him, explaining that he had re-released his 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgment Day because a whole generation would only have seen it on a TV screen.
Cameron told The Telegraph: “I’m not into it – I think it’s a stupid idea.
“The sanctity of the theatregoing experience is something I never want to see go away.
“I actually don’t think it will go away but people shouldn’t be denied the option of seeing a film on a big screen.
“It’s also incumbent on us as filmmakers to make films that need to be seen in the cinema –there is something about leaving your home and dedicating two hours of your life to an experience you can’t control.
“Everything in life today is about control and multitasking. When you go to the cinema you give all that up.”
Canadian Cameron added that he was finding it very difficult living in Donald Trump’s America.
He said: “If I hadn’t spent the past several years building out the ultimate digital studio at Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles I wouldn’t be in this country right now.
“I’m happy to say that publicly. I’m so disgusted with what’s going on. At what point did the home of the brave generate such fear and anxiety that Americans have to act against their fundamental founding principles?
“It’s just so appalling to me. I also think there’s a freefloating anxiety in general in the world today about the things coming over the horizon.”
Cameron also shared that Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger had been unconvinced by the script for the film’s sequel when he first saw it.
He said: “He said to me, ‘Jim – I don’t kill anybody’.
“I said, ‘yeah – it’s the big surprise … they’re never going to see it coming’.
“He responded ‘Jim – I’m the Terminator. I kick the door down, I shoot everybody, this is what I do’.
“He was really nervous about it.”
The filmmaker spoke about his reputation as a formidable person to work with and about how his career had affected his personal relationships.
He said: “It’s a bit of a caricature.
“Out of a planet of several billion people, there are a couple of thousand film directors.
“It’s a certain type of personality. And while the personalities vary wildly, the thing they have in common is the ability to focus.”
Cameron added: “It’s hard on relationships. Suzy (his fifth wife) and I have been together 20 years. She’s been through Avatar with me. She knows what’s coming over the horizon.”