James Cameron Explains Why He Relates To The MCU’s Thanos

Thaons arriving on Titan in Avengers: Infinity War
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

James Cameron doesn’t always have the nicest things to say about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that doesn’t mean he’s not familiar with the blockbuster franchise. While  Cameron may have said previously that he’s not a fan of the stories that Marvel movies usually have to tell, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t understand them. Although the Marvel character James Cameron says he understands most is Thanos.

James Cameron is a major environmentalist if a pair of Avatar movies about conservation didn’t make that clear. He cares a great deal for the world and how humanity lives in it. For that reason, he admits to Time that he at least understands where Thanos is coming from because the Marvel villain does at least have an answer to the problem, even if that answer has its own problems. As Cameron explains…

I can relate to Thanos. I thought he had a pretty viable answer. The problem is nobody is going to put up their hand to volunteer to be the half that has to go.

I suppose the definition of “viable” is somewhat fuzzy in this case. Thanos’s issue, that populations keep growing while resources are finite is an absolutely real problem and one that needs to be addressed. Even Captain America understands Thanos was trying to fix a serious issue. Of course, Thanos’ way to fix it was essentially to just kill half of all life. While that would successfully fix the problem, it’s not exactly the compassionate way to do things. Still, it would be a quick and easy fix.

I’m going to assume that if James Cameron had the ability to wipe out half the life on the planet he would choose not to do it because of the moral implications of the decision. Having said that, Cameron has some pretty strong opinions on a lot of things, so maybe he’d at least think about it. 

The environmental themes of the Avatar franchise are even more clear in the sequel The Way of Water than they were in the original film. Not only is the film about people coming in and typing to strip mine the land that belongs to somebody else, but in the sequel, it’s made plain that humanity on earth is doomed and they will need to find a new home for essentially the entire population because humans have destroyed earth. Pandora gets chosen to be humanity’s new home. The fact that it already has a population is not considered.  

We can expect that these same themes in Avatar will continue to be explored in the sequels. One assumes that by the end of the franchise, a solution will have been found. It probably won't involve mass genocide, so we'll have to see what Cameron's way to fix the problem is. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.