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James Cameron trashes Glenn Beck

'Avatar' director wants to debate Fox News host

Update: Beck responds (video)

"Avatar" director James Cameron lashed out at Glenn Beck at a news conference Tuesday, offering to debate the Fox News personality on environmental and political issues.

Asked what he thought about Beck during a junket appearance in support of the "Avatar" home video release, Cameron said: "Glenn Beck is a fucking asshole. I've met him. He called me the anti-Christ, and not about 'Avatar.' He hadn't even seen 'Avatar' yet. I don't know if he has seen it."

Cameron was apparently referring to Beck's reaction to his 2007 documentary, "The Lost Tomb of Jesus," which casts doubt on the resurrection of Jesus Christ and makes the case that the ancient "Tomb of the Ten Ossuaries" belonged to Jesus' family.

After blasting Beck (audio at left), Cameron, surrounded by journalists inside a West Hollywood hillside mansion, seemed to reconsider: "I think, you know what, he may or may not be an asshole, but he certainly is dangerous, and I'd love to have a dialogue with him."

What makes Beck dangerous, THR asked Cameron at the junket.

"He's dangerous because his ideas are poisonous," Cameron answered. "I couldn't believe when he was on CNN. I thought, what happened to CNN? Who is this guy? Who is this madman? And then of course he wound up on Fox News, which is where he belongs, I guess."

Asked by THR if he felt the right wing's attacks against him were continuing, Cameron replied: "They're not attacks. They're just people ranting away, lost in their little bubbles of reality, steeped in their own hatred, their own fear and hatred. That's where it all comes from. Let's just call it out. Let's have a public discussion. That's what movies are supposed to do, you know, you can have a mindless entertainment film that doesn't affect anybody. I wasn't interested in that."

The "Avatar" director was equally unsparing in his comments about those who don't accept global warming as fact.

"That's right," Cameron said. "I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads."

Turning more serious, he added: "Anybody that is a global warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their ass I'm not sure they could hear me."

By making the environment the theme of his home video release plan, Cameron is sending a message.

"Look, at this point I'm less interested in making money for the movie and more interested in saving the world that my children are going to inhabit. How about that? I mean, look, I didn't make this movie with these strong environmental anti-war themes in it to make friends on the right, you know.

"They're not on my Christmas card list," Cameron added. "It's not going to change my lifestyle at all if they don't talk to me. But, you know, they've got to live in this world, too. And their children do as well, so they're going to have to be answerable to this at some point."

Fox had gathered nearly 100 journalists from around the world for a press junket that included a screening of four vivid video clips from the movie to show the quality of the conversion.

Cameron and "Avatar" producer Jon Landau opened the program by pledging an environmental theme to the release of "Avatar" into the home video market. The video release of "Avatar" is now set for April 22, which is not insignificantly Earth Day, as Beck is likely to notice.

While still working for CNN, Beck teed up an on-air interview with Cameron regarding "Tomb" with the following comment, according to a CNN transcript: "Many people believe James Cameron officially has tossed his hat in the ring today and is officially running for anti-Christ."