James Cameron Talks 3D, TITANIC, T2, STAR WARS, AVATAR 2, and CLEOPATRA

     October 19, 2010


With the upcoming release of the Avatar special extended collector’s edition DVD and Blu-ray, James Cameron once again spoke about his landmark film along with his thoughts on 3D post-conversion, his 3D re-release of Titanic (and possible T2) George Lucas’ upcoming Star Wars 3D re-release, and an untitled Cleopatra movie (possibly starring Angelina Jolie).  Hit the jump for what Cameron had to say.

Speaking to the LA Times, Cameron spoke about a variety of subjects, mostly pertaining to 3D.  On the matter of 3D post-conversion:

I think [3D conversion houses were] doing two things: they were low-balling the bid and they were delivering shabby 3-D, because they had no choice, because it had to be done as a throughput thing. When you’re buying 3-D by the yard, $50,000 a minute or $70,000 a minute, it’s not really being done correctly, where it’s really an artistic process. I talked to Louis Leterrier, who did “Clash of the Titans,” and he was in England mixing the movie while they were doing the 3-D here. So the filmmaker wasn’t even involved in the process. It was just being applied like a layer, purely for profit motive. There was no artistry to it whatsoever. Now everybody’s realizing that’s not the right way to do it. They’re having to get on that learning curve. I think that’s O.K. These are almost, in a way, predictable oscillations of an emerging market.

On his 3D re-release of Titanic:

We’re in the early stages of that process. We’ve been moving very slowly to make sure that we do it right, and we’ve basically gone to every single vendor who does 3-D conversion, that’s a credible vendor, and there were seven that we have received tests from. We’ve analyzed the tests, in a couple of cases we sent them back and told them to remake parts of it, because it was unacceptable, and now we’re baking off the different vendors against each other and we’re going to choose the top two or three vendors and we’re going to split the show up between them. That’s our game plan. So we maximize the quality. Everybody’s busy now because there’s a lot of conversion work.

On Lucas converting the Star Wars movies to 3D (and possibly post-converting Terminator 2):

I’ve been encouraging him to do that for years. He and I went to ShoWest in 2005 and he showed a little bit of converted “Star Wars” and I showed some of my 3-D stuff, and we said, 3-D is coming. We wanted to get exhibitors excited about 3-D so they’d put it in the number of screens that we needed. George has been talking about this for a long time and it’s finally coming to fruition, and I think that’s the true and correct use of the conversion technology, is for movies that are already done and are already beloved films. I want to do it with “Titanic,” maybe I’ll go back to “T2,” I don’t know. Steven [Spielberg] could do it on some of his films that we’d all, I’m sure, love to see in 3-D. But it has to be done right, and it has to be done with the blessing and the supervision of the filmmaker.

On Avatar 2:

Q: There’s a lot of curiosity about what your next movie will be. Is an “Avatar” sequel a fait accompli?

A: I wouldn’t say it’s inevitable because we still haven’t worked out our deal with 20th Century Fox. So we’re still in an ongoing negotiation on that. Because it’s a big piece of business, and I’m trying to map it out as a game plan that stretches forward 10 years. And they don’t like to think that long term. We’ll get it worked out, probably. I would assign a high probability to that. Whether that’s my next film or not remains to be seen.

And on a potential Cleopatra project:

There’s a Cleopatra project in work, meaning that it’s been in development at Sony. And it’s a subject that’s always fascinated me. So yeah, I’ve been talking to them about it but no decisions have been made. But it sounds hot, doesn’t it? I mean, Angelina Jolie and Cleopatra? To me, that’s like a slam dunk. Whether I wind up doing it or not, I think it’s going to be a great project.

Avatar: Extended Collector’s Edition his DVD and Blu-ray on November 16th.


Around The Web
  • http://senzafineonline.net/ Yahzee

    As always, it’s a pleasure to read whatever Cameron has to say.

  • FincherFan

    I hope ho does Cleopatra!!!! That would just be epic beyond words. It’s so exciting!

  • Army1601

    We all know Avatar 2 is his next movie, He’s right to take his time though

  • Army1601

    We all know Avatar 2 is his next movie, He’s right to take his time though

  • http://www.wetrustindust.in Dustin M

    Love him or hate him, when it comes to the industry talk, you listen.


    Yeah we may “listen” to Cameron but do we care? My answer is “no”.. He is not even a top ten director in my opinion. He could easily be a director of photography and still make the same product. This has been my issue with Cameron all these years. Was Titanic a good movie, HELL NO.. It was a long three hour journey they culminated in us witnessing one of the most historical tradegies in our histiry. The love story was so convoluted I tend to think people wore rose colored glasses when watching that movie. T2 was a great action flick but he hasnt come close to that in years. I am sorry but I think he is a great visual director but his movies and story lines are sloppy. Avatar = pochantas.
    I hate how this guy will have 101 opinions about other movies and they should be yet his movies are somehow perfect. Last time I checked I feel asleep at about the 2 1/2 hour mark of AVATAR because the 3-D excitement had worn off by then..

  • http://twitter.com/MitThompson Mitch Thompson

    3D is lame. Just wanted to throw that out there.

  • Killik0

    Ι am always thrilled whenever the King gives a new interview.
    He knows what he is talking about and i enjoy reading him.

  • Christophercantos

    i like that he’s a little humble this time

  • Elimak91

    Maybe he’s learning or trying to be more humble these days, because he doesn’t sound AS arrogant… having said that, he stills talks down to other filmmakers and movies. I guess he feels as though having the #1 and #2 most financially successful films of all time, that he really is the best there is.

  • Ceridius

    Cameron’s raving adoration for 3-D is ridiculous. It’s like taking a tasty treat (i.e. great storytelling) and putting a new wrapper on it. Who gives a shit? You can put a turd in a shiny wrapper and it makes no difference unless you’re enough of a simpleton to be attracted to ‘teh shinies!’

    Despite his claims, I fail to see how 3-D can help to “convey emotion.” There’s nothing revolutionary about it. And it’s certainly not comparable to the shift from black and white film to colour, in my opinion.

    Let’s get back to making impactful, engrossing stories shall we Mr. Cameron? You have a stupendeous amount of resources at your disposal, a decent amount of talent and immense power and influence over art of film; over millions of people’s imaginations. And what do you choose to do with these things? You make the pretty pictures pop a little more.

    • Killik0

      here is a suggestion.
      if you strongly believe that the art of cinema is only about the story itself and nothing else,here is what to do: mute the tv and turn its color into black/white. then watch for the rest of your life all the movies and tvseries in that tv.

      • Killik0

        or better yet,just eye-patch one of your eyes and stay like that for the rest of your life,if you think that 3D is overrated.

      • Ceridius

        Please read my comment more carefully before you go mouthing off. I said it is ‘not’ comparable to the shift of black and white to colour in film. Meaning, it is not as significant of an improvement. Colour did wonders for film-making. We see in colour after all. Black and white can of course be used artistically. My dislike for 3D actually stems from my respect for great cinematography, and how 3D does not contribute very much to it.

      • Ceridius

        Just in case you still misunderstand. Someone else on a forum phrased it quite well:

        “Why should I care about 3D if I already have depth perception?”

  • Reality Kills

    In an industry with grossly overinflated box-office figures that America no longer publicly pays attention to, and really never did, except in California and New York, Cameron will need an awful lot more than 3D and jittery talk to sell more enemy crap to a market who hates him and his industry beyond hate itself.

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