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James Cameron Skips Oscars 2023 Due to ‘Personal Reasons’ Despite Avatar: The Way of Water’s Best Picture Nomination

James Cameron Skips Oscars 2023 Due to 'Personal Reasons' Despite Avatar: The Way of Water's Best Picture Nomination
Rob Latour/Shutterstock

Missing the moment. James Cameron skipped the 2023 Oscars on Sunday, March 12, despite his film Avatar: The Way of Water being up for Best Picture.

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Producer Jon Landau said that Cameron, 68, could not attend due to “personal reasons,” per Variety. He was spotted at CAA’s pre-Oscars party in Los Angeles on Friday, March 10.

Cameron was name-checked as an absentee nominee in Jimmy Kimmel‘s opening monologue at the top of ABC’s live broadcast. “You know, Tom [Cruise] and James Cameron didn’t show up tonight. The two guys who insisted we go to the theater didn’t come the theater,” the host, 55, said to the audience at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.

Kimmel added that while Top Gun: Maverick and the Avatar sequel are up for Best Picture, Cruise wasn’t up for Best Actor and Cameron wasn’t nominated for Best Director. “I mean, how does the Academy not nominate the guy who directed Avatar? What do they think he is, a woman?” Kimmel quipped. The Best Director nominations were controversial as no women were included.

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For his part, Cruise, 60, didn’t attend the Oscars because he is busy filming. He is currently overseas working on Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part II, Us Weekly confirmed on Sunday. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is expected to accept the Best Picture award if their film wins.

James Cameron Skips Oscars 2023 Due to 'Personal Reasons' Despite Avatar: The Way of Water's Best Picture Nomination
Stewart Cook/Shutterstock

Avatar: The Way of Water, the sequel to Cameron’s 2010 Avatar film, hit theaters in December after a 13-year wait between movies. The long-awaited installment brought back Zoe Saldaña and Sigourney Weaver — both of whom were in attendance at Sunday’s awards show — along with leading man Sam Worthington, and the flick garnered four Oscar nods. The science fiction blockbuster is up for Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design and Best Sound.

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Of course, Best Picture is the most coveted and most competitive category of the night. Avatar: Way of the Water is up against All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick, Triangle of Sadness and Women Talking for the night’s biggest accolade.

Though the first Avatar was up for three Academy Awards in 2010, it never won any statues. Cameron does, however, have three Oscars of his own. Titanic won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film Editing at the 1998 ceremony.

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