1986 was a great time for James Cameron. With the director finally getting to tap into his fanboy fantasies by taking the reigns of Aliens. The sequel to the 1979 hit Alien was a hit from top to bottom. Seeing Ridley Scott's legacy preserved and spawning a number of features that would follow all the way up to 2017 and beyond.
But the 62-year old understands that the series has endured some rough times. So much so that many doubted if it had a future on the big screen at all. On the eve of the prequel, Alien: Covenant, coming out on May 19, Cameron argued that the first two installments were works of art, leaving less than flattering commentary for the added sequels.
Cameron Puts Scott and Himself In One Camp, Divides The Rest
Sitting down with Vulture, Cameron believes his title was made in the same spirit as his predecessor Ridley Scott.
"The franchise has kind of wandered all over the map," starts the director. "Ridley (Scott) did the first film, and he inspired an entire generation of filmmakers and science-fiction fans with that one movie and there have been so many films that stylistically have derived from it, including my own Aliens, which was the legitimate sequel and, I think, the proper heir to his film. I sort of did it as a fanboy. I wanted to honor his film, but also say what I needed to say. After that, I don't take any responsibility."
With Scott taking the reigns again for the prequel, Cameron holds out hope despite some serious reservations about the plot and overall synopsis.
"I don't think it's worked out terribly well," remarked Cameron. "I think we've moved on beyond it. It's like, okay, we've got it, we've got the whole Freudian biomechanoid meme. I've seen it in 100 horror films since. I think both of those films stand at a certain point in time, as a reference point. But is there any validity to doing another one now? I don't know. Maybe. Let's see, jury's out. Let's see what Ridley comes up with. Let me just add to that — and don't cut this part off, please — I will stand in line for any Ridley Scott movie, even a not-so-great one, because he is such an artist, he's such a filmmaker. I always learn from him. And what he does with going back to his own franchise would be fascinating."
Search Continues For The Mysterious Atlantis
Going out into the deep blue ocean for National Geographic, the Titanic and The Terminator director cannot help but be fascinated with the legendary land that may or may not exist. But that hasn't stopped the director from looking.
"I think it's a lot like the Titanic," explains Cameron. "It's a parable about hubris, it's about the gods punishing man, and it's about something that has been taken away and is now hidden from us. The dynastic Egyptian period was buried in sand, but it’s been well dug up. The mystery has been taken away from that. The Romans left their mark all over Europe, and we know where the ruins are, and they've been well dug up and well-described. So I think it's the fact that there's this idea that there might be a civilization on that same orbit, that same scale, that's out there that's never been found."
Given the passing of time and the erosion that has taken place in that time, does Cameron hold out hope that someone somewhere will find traces of the lost civilization?
"I personally don't believe that," he responded. "I think there isn't an Atlantis on that scale some place out there. I think there might be something that hasn't been found yet, maybe outside Thassos, which I think is a good candidate, that is a significant civilization that led down through the ages to what Plato described. By down through the ages, I mean the ages before Plato, so Plato's points were 2,400 years ago, and he's talking about thousands of years in his past, so you're getting into the midst of time where there's not great record keeping. Not much has come down to us, other than piles of stones that are intriguing and enigmatic."