It’s been 15 years — and hundreds of millions of dollars — in the making. Now, James Cameron’s Avatar is just a week away from hitting theaters. As the buzz becomes deafening, Cameron sat with EW’s Josh Rottenberg to talk about taking risks, being the underdog, and why he thinks Terminator 2 holds up — but Aliens doesn’t. Check out a few highlights below, and pick up our current issue for the full Q&A.

On early reactions comparing the Na’vi to Smurfs and Jar Jar Binks: “I think the Smurfs thing is funny, personally. Jar Jar is a bit of a low blow.”

On his target audience: “When you’re making a movie that costs $200 million… your target audience is people with a pulse and $15 — or even just $15.”

On his work ethic: “I took half a day off for the swine flu back in May.”

On whether or not Avatar will be profitable: “If we announce Avatar 2, we made money. If we didn’t make money, we’re a bunch of dumb f—s. But we still made 2,000 jobs for three years, and that’s a good thing.”

On the legacy of Titanic: “It’s like nobody admits they went to see Titanic, like it was something you did when you were a kid that you’re not too proud of now, like wearing bell-bottoms.”

For more on James Cameron and Avatar, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now. And check back at on Monday for our Q&A with Avatar star Sigourney Weaver.

Photo Credit: Mark Fellman

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