James Cameron Talks 9 Minutes of AVATAR Re-Release Footage, 3D Conversions, and AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS

by     Posted 3 years, 355 days ago

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James Cameron has plenty to talk about these days.  Avatar — you know, the highest-grossing movie of all time — is set for a re-release on August 27th.  Titanic — you know, the second highest-grossing movie of all time — will get a 3D theatrical re-release in April 2012.  There’s always that impending Avatar sequel (or two) that could use a monthly progress update.  Plus, it was recently revealed that Cameron would co-produce an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness with fellow auteur Guillermo del Toro.

The director has been working the phone recently to keep us informed — hit the jump to hear what he had to say.

Cameron recently spoke with Market Saw and MTV.  Here are the highlights:

at_the_mountains_of_madness_book_coverOn At the Mountains of Madness

The teaming of Cameron and del Toro may be even more serendipitous than we first realized.  Cameron allegedly brought up Madness a couple weeks ago, asking if del Toro was still interested in the project.  When it was clear the Mexican filmmaker was chomping at the bit to get it made, Cameron said “Let’s do it.”  The pair took it to Universal, and now the project is on the fast track, set to shoot in native 3D in summer 2011.

On 3D conversions…

As someone who took the utmost care in projecting a 3D Sam Worthington in Avatar, Cameron had a few more disparaging remarks for the method that Clash of the Titans employed.  He quipped, “[Clash of the Titans] showed a fundamental lack of knowledge about stereo space, in addition to the shoddy work that comes from rushing.”  He added that he was a fan of the film in 2D, both as a director and a fan of Worthington.

Cameron expects the process of converting Titanic to 3D to take eight months to a year after extensive testing.  The director will continue his mission to further 3D technology.  He hopes to eventually invalidate the following arguments against shooting in 3D:

  • ‘I can’t shoot 3D.’
  • ‘It’s too difficult.’
  • ‘There are too many problems.’
  • ‘It costs too much.’
  • ‘It adds 6 months to post-production.’

Cameron believes that, two years from now, those points will be moot.  “They won’t be able to say any of that stuff.  That stuff is all garbage.”

In a fun anecdote, Cameron recalled the advice he gave to Steven Spielberg with regard to converting his own classic filmography to 3D: “Make sure you are there for [the conversions] — then it can be great.”

On the Avatar sequels and novel...

The overall story arc for the next two films in the Avatar universe are planned out, but Cameron noted, “We don’t start the movie until we get the deals worked out.”  He elaborated, “I’m making notes. I’m not sitting idle.  But really, what I’m working on primarily is the novel.”

Most films shop the novelization out to someone who can get the job done quickly and cheaply, but Cameron wanted to ensure a quality product:

“I didn’t want to do a cheesy novelization, where some hack comes in and kind of makes shit up.  I wanted to do something that was a legitimate novel that was inside the characters’ heads and didn’t have the wrong culture stuff, the wrong language stuff, all that.”

Once the novel is out there, and the deals are in place, Cameron is strongly considering shooting the sequels back-to-back.

“That is something that makes a lot of sense, given the nature of these productions, because we can bank all the [motion] capture and then go back and do cameras over a period of time… The way these back-to-back productions fall apart is that you’re trying to do two live-action films back to back, and you’re working on it for a year and a half, shooting.  Everyone is dead.  It’s not humanly possible.  This type of film, it absolutely would work.”

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On the Avatar re-release…

Initial reports suggested the re-release would have eight minutes of new footage, but it turns out the actual total is closer to nine.  Cameron promises that they chose the best available scenes from the array available to them.  Per Market Saw, the new footage will feature:

  • scenes set in the rainforest, some at night
  • a hunting sequence
  • plenty of flying
  • an emotional scene near the end
  • a Na’vi counterattack after the bulldozer attack
  • more of Grace at the school
  • the Stingbat and Stumbeat creatures
  • more of the glad love scene

Market Saw has posted the full audio of their call in their writeup.  Here’s an excerpt from MTV’s conversation with Cameron.




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  • http://twitter.com/aeghast [A]

    I love the “It costs too much” bit. You love money, Jim, we get it. We do too.

  • junierizzle

    INCEPTION didn't need 3D and that shit rocked!!!

  • Uroboros

    I'm guessing James must have investments in some 3D company if he's pushing 3D so much. James you know what movies REALLY need? Good original stories! Not a gimmick to cover up the lack thereof

  • Dan

    Oh wow, that point has never been made before. Stop your bitching and get over it. I'm sick of all this whining…nobody is forcing you to see the movie.

  • John

    I agree with Dan, people should stop complaining. If James Cameron wants to swindle the world into seeing another shiny turd, that's his right as an American.

  • Clance

    Cry more. Your bitter jealous tears still haven't filled my glass.

  • Pdg99pdq

    a sequel to Avatar? why?

  • Pdg99pdq

    heh heh, there was nothing said in the first one. What's left to say

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  • http://senzafineonline.net/ Yahzee

    Avatar almost got me convinced of the 3D stuff, but then Alice in Wonderland came and destroyed all credibility for the format when everyone started to jump in the wagon just because they thought they'd make an extra buck and forgot whether the conversion was good or if it served the film. But Jim is a visionary, and if somehow filmmakers would follow his example and devotion to story, they'll not only make quality films, but guess what, they'll get his extra buck too!

  • N.M.

    Does no one realize inflation was the reason the movie is the highest grossing “of all time” ? aside from its ticket prices being driven up by the 3D?

    This is most definitely NOT the highest grossing movie of all time.

  • junierizzle

    Stop complaining?? We'll never stop wanting “Good original stories! Not a gimmick to cover up the lack thereof “.

  • Clance

    Its pretty hilarious how major success breed such contempt in nerd-dom. The hate also highlights just how ignorant some of you are towards filmmaking.

    “Stop complaining?? We'll never stop wanting “Good original stories! Not a gimmick to cover up the lack thereof “. “

    Good thing Avatar not only had a story, but also brought up many original concepts that are brand new to movies. Unless you can name me a dozen other stories about Aliens who communicate with their planet. The broad outline of Avatar is as unoriginal as Inception. Avatar is a man lost in nature story, and Inception a Heist story, but both of them drive those tropes with concepts brand new to film. Keep harping on about Avatars unoriginality, all you are doing is showcasing your own inabilty to read what a film is about

    And thinking the 3D in Avatar was a gimmick also showcases complete ignorance. 3D in Avatar was done in a purely creative manner, to provide further immersion into the film. Thats a fact.

    Give me a break with absolutely retarded statements like “Inception didnt need 3D.” No sh*t. Doesn't change that 3D when done right adds a wonderful layer to the visual experience like it did in Avatar. You might as well say The English Patient didn't need CG Dinosaurs in the wake of Jurassic Parks success. You'd look just as retarded.

    “Does no one realize inflation was the reason the movie is the highest grossing “of all time” ? aside from its ticket prices being driven up by the 3D?

    This is most definitely NOT the highest grossing movie of all time. “

    Avatar is by definition the highest grossing film of all time. And taking Inflation into consideration, Avatar is the most successful film of the past decade, yes much, much, much more so than TDK.

    Your bogus inflation arguement can only carry so much weight. Once a film is close 3 billion dollars worldwide, then your arguements only look petty.

  • Kim

    Clance, I completely agree with your comment. Unoriginality, blah, blah, this blah blah that, just shut their trap, Avatar is a cinematic landmark of aspiration, dedication and utter talent and creativity.

  • Janefar003

    I love this news, so does my boyfriend. He is 10 years older than me. lol. We met online at an age-gap site AgeLessMatch.Com nice place for younger women and older men, or older women and younger men,to interact with each other. You may wanna check out or tell your friends.

  • Bob

    Go fuck yourself with a rusty crowbar.

  • Lawney

    @ clane

    Your statements are just a little “retarded” as you like to say yourself. When people are talking about stories they don't mean the basis of them sure it's about connecting to nature but isn't dances with wolves pretty much the same way? if you really analyze this movie it didn't push any real boundaries except in the realms of 3D. It had your basic character has a flaw, finds a world where those flaws are no more, meets people, looses trust with people, saves the day. How many movies can u name with tht plot line. I can think of hundreds of kids movies with that same plot line.

    Along with this ur inflation argument is just beyond belief. Inflation does matter. At the rave theatres for a regular movie the cost can be anywhere from $5-9 for a regular movie but if you add in 3d it comes to like $12 that's a major difference and makes it that much prone to make more money. And what about gone with the wind if you put gone with the wind at the same price range as avatar I almost imagine that it would be the highest grossing movie of all time. Cameron made a pretty movie, but a great movie I think not.

  • Dan

    2.7 Billion dollars says otherwise.
    You're making this sound like the movie is attacking you in some way, the way you keep going on about it. Why can't you just accept the fact that there will always be both types of movies. That's why I personally go to theaters in the first place…to be entertained. Sometimes I just like to turn my brain off and look at the pretty colors. Who gives a shit? It's just a movie…stop taking this shit so personally.

  • junierizzle

    First of all I liked AVATAR. But I would have liked it just the same in 2D.
    I was simply stating that I'll take a good story over FX jumping at me anyday of the week. I have nothing against 3D. It just truly isn't necessary for a movie to be good. INCEPTION for example was 100x better than AVATAR. NO 3D and had better visuals.
    I don't care how much money AVATAR made. It's still just okay, not amazing.

    Oh, You mean to tell me you go to the theatres to be entertained? WOW, I've never ever heard of going to the theatres to be entertained. I have to try that sometime.

    Lastly, “Sometimes I just like to turn my brain off and look at the pretty colors. Who gives a shit?” Everyone is now dumber for having read that.

  • TheWatcher

    I love Jim's movies, fuck anyone who complains. Don't watch it if you don't like it.

  • Jkrats

    But if Inception was in 3D, it would have rocked AND Rolled! Would have been great to see those scenes in 3D.

  • saydave

    you mean Canadian =)

  • Deanbriss

    he's a Canadian

  • Alex

    I wouldn't go that far. I didn't even see Avatar in 3d and I thought it was uninspired. The connection to the planet aspect was neat but everything else came off a little unoriginal, I think it's mostly due to all of it having been in done in video games.

    It's not surprising the seniors were impressed.

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  • Kristijonas

    No… they're not dumber. They're just annoyed of your worthless banter. Honestly, many will concur that they ALSO like to “turn their brains off” once in a while. Not every movie needs to be a groundbreaking story-telling phenomenon; variety is there for a reason. Avatar meets man's thirst for glorious ingenuity and shattering production. That's all there is to it.

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