The depression that followed James Cameron‘s commitment to deliver not one or two but three Avatar sequels, planned for release in 2016, 2017 and 2018, was fairly profound. Three sequels? It used to be that major-league directors made films because they were excited by some challenge or because they were aroused by certain echos or themes or metaphors in the material. Now, it seems, they’re just following the cash because corporate franchise movies are regarded by zombie production executives as the only safe bets. James Mangold recently announced he’ll be doing another effing Wolverine movie after helming X-Men Apocalypse. Why? Because the market allegedly wants these films and he’s going for the dough while the getting is good. (Which puts Three Little Words and The Deep Blue Good-by on back burners.) Which name-brand directors have respectfully passed when presented with an opportunity to direct a sequel for a handsome paycheck? “Sorry but I can’t make a movie just to make money…I have to feel a certain degree of genuine passion”…who has said that over the last 20 or 25 years?

Incidentally: Who re-spells “goodbye” as “good-by“? Sub-moronic.