Editorial: Why I Don't Believe James Cameron Is The New Steven Spielberg

Avatar director James Cameron has become one of the most well known directors of our generation. From his work on Titanic and Terminator Judgement Day to his work on Avatar, there's no stopping this guy at what he does best. But has James Cameron reached the level of one of the greatest director who ever lived; Steven Spielberg. In most cases directors and actors don't like being compared to previous occupants in their field, but in this case I think Cameron can make an exception. But the question is, is this comparison really reasonable? I certainly don't think so.

Born in Ontario, Canada, Cameron has been in the movie making business for a while now. Similar to Spielberg, both directors mostly enjoy the Sci-fi category. Spielberg earned the greatest honor when he was invited to the White House by the president at the time Ronald Reagan to see a viewing of E.T. I don't see Cameron and Obama watching Avatar together in the White House. Spielberg created very popular movies, some even included on numerous Top 25 Movies lists. He created movies such as Jaws, E.T., Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler's List, and more. All of them classic looked upon now as shining examples to other directors of their respective genre. Cameron doesn't have such a large background of movies like Spielberg, but there's no denying he's still got a pretty impressive resume.

Cameron has created thrillers like Aliens, Terminator and it's sequel Judgement Day, The Abyss, and the financial hits Avatar and Titanic. But unlike Spielberg, Cameron doesn't have a background in cartoons or video games. Spielberg created the cartoons Pinky and the Brain, Tiny Toon Adventures, Aimaniacs, Freakazoid!, and Toonsylvania. While also creating the cartoon movies American Tail and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Recently Spielberg has created the Wii games Boom Blox and Boom Box Bash Party. While Cameron hasn't expanded into the cartooning or gaming field yet, after realizing that sequels make big bucks Cameron is planning on making an Avatar 2 and 3 in the near future. Cameron has turned down some important directing jobs such as the original Spider-Man movie he was set to direct in the 90s, and after Sam Raimi decided opt out of directing Spider-Man 4, the job was offered to Cameron, but he turned down the job saying "He isn't a sloppy second". That's not exactly the mentality you want to hear from a director who should be looking to expand his future films from just more Avatar sequels.

In other words, Cameron isn't at the same level as Spielberg by a long shot. Why you ask? Well Cameron has been a director for about the same amount of time as Spielberg, really reaching his highest point in the 90s, directly succeeding Spielberg's streak in the 80s. While Cameron has made some great films in the process of his career, Spielberg hasn't missed a step through all of his years of directing. His diversity in film making is unparalleled by any other current director, as he's made such Sci-fi classics as E.T. and Close Encounters With The Third Kind, adventure films like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurassic Park, and then went on to make compelling and emotional dramas such as Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List. That's something Cameron wishes he could say, but sadly can't. Spielberg has inspired countless modern day directors from J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) to Neill Blomkamp (District 9) all the way to David Fincher (Fight Club). Spielberg is the shining example of the perfect film maker, while James Cameron is just really an influential director for this generation, but I can really only see him actually serving as an inspiration for a hand full of aspiring directors.

So where ever their careers may take them (or have already taken them) both are outstanding directors with amazing work, and I hope to see many more films from the two of them in the near future. But ultimately Cameron just isn't at Spielberg's level, but maybe some day another director will be.