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.