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Never Over-Estimate James Cameron

Jon Landau and director James Cameron.
’Avatar: The Way of Water‘ producer Jon Landau and director James Cameron. Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
Matthew Belloni
December 15, 2022

It’s become the cringiest of clichés: “Never underestimate James Cameron.” I actually remember back in 2009, when Cameron was promoting the first Avatar at a filmmaker roundtable I co-moderated, asking him off-camera how often people were saying that to him. A lot, I remember him telling me, and it never gets old.  

(Quick Quiz: Among the following directors who attended that roundtable—Cameron, Kathryn Bigelow, Lee Daniels, Peter Jackson, Jason Reitman, and Quentin Tarantino—who would you guess would show up very late, not apologize, and hold up the whole proceeding while the others seethed? Answer: Not Cameron, actually! It was the then-32 year old Reitman.)