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‘Avatar’ director James Cameron defends 3-hour sequel runtime against ‘whining’ critics

Cameron, who directed the first film and is tackling 'Avatar 2,' is squashing complaints way ahead of the sequel's premiere.

James Cameron’s first “Avatar” movie clocked in at 162 minutes (that’s nearly two hours and 40 minutes), and it sounds like the Oscar-winning director is going even longer for the upcoming sequel, “Avatar: The Way of Water.” According to Empire magazine, the next “Avatar” movie is “currently coming in at around three hours.” Cameron does not want to hear anyone complaining about the movie’s long runtime.

“I don’t want anybody whining about length when they sit and binge-watch [television] for eight hours,” Cameron told the magazine. “I can almost write this part of the review. ‘The agonizingly long three-hour movie…’ It’s like, give me a f------ break. I’ve watched my kids sit and do five one-hour episodes in a row. Here’s the big social paradigm shift that has to happen: it’s okay to get up and go pee.”

Disney / 20th Century Studios

Cameron also had strong words for moviegoers who continuously troll on the first “Avatar” movie. With $2.84 billion worldwide, “Avatar” stands as the highest-grossing movie of all time (unadjusted for inflation). Even with that gross, plus nine Oscar nominations and three wins, “Avatar” and its long-delayed sequel have become a punching bag for some cinephiles.

“The trolls will have it that nobody gives a s--- and they can’t remember the characters’ names or one damn thing that happened in the movie,” Cameron said. “Then they see the movie again and go, ‘Oh, okay, excuse me, let me just shut the f--- up right now.’ So I’m not worried about that.”

“Avatar: The Way of Water” picks up with Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) a decade after the events of the first movie. The two now have children and must protect their family from a new threat. Returning cast members include Sigourney Weaver (playing Jake and Neytiri’s teenage daughter via motion capture) and Stephen Lang, while new cast members are Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement and Kate Winslet.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” opens in theaters nationwide December 15.