This article is from the archive of our partner .

In a surprisingly heated Hollywood dust-up, director James Cameron and Piranha 3D producer Mark Canton are throwing some verbal grenades. The first assault came from Cameron in an interview he gave to Vanity Fair about his film Avatar and the aesthetic of 3-D films. Turns out, he's not a big fan of Pirahnha 3D:


I tend almost never to throw other films under the bus, but ['Piranha 3D'] is exactly an example of what we should not be doing in 3-D. Because it just cheapens the medium and reminds you of the bad 3-D horror films from the '70s and '80s, like ‘Friday the 13th’ 3D.

The stinging remark really got to Canton, who issued a 1,374-word rejoinder on Tuesday:


Mr. Cameron, who singles himself out to be a visionary of movie-making, seems to have a small vision regarding any motion pictures that are not his own. It is amazing that in the movie-making process—which is certainly a team sport—that Cameron consistently celebrates himself out as though he is a team of one. His comments are ridiculous, self-serving and insulting to those of us who are not caught up in serving his ego and his rhetoric...

The enormous worldwide success of Avatar has been good in all respects for you, your financiers, your distributors and the industry, as well as for the movie going public. Jim, there is a difference between Maestro which is a word that garners respects, and Dictator or Critic which are words better left for others who are not in our mutual boat or on our team. You are one of the best, it is reasonable to think that you should dig deeper and behave like it. Young directors should be inspired by you, not publicly castigated by your mean-spirited and flawed analysis.

And oh yeah, Canton says Avatar was never all that great to begin with:


To be honest, I found the 3-D in Avatar to be inconsistent and while groundbreaking in many respects, sometimes I thought it overwhelmed the storytelling... Technology aside, I wish Avatar had been more original in its storytelling."

 Your move, James.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.