Kate Winslet and James Cameron to
reunite in ‘Avatar’ sequels
Kate Winslet and James Cameron have a
little history. Two decades ago she starred in his global juggernaut Titanic,
which was the top-grossing film of all time until Cameron’s Avatar came along in
2009. Now the two are reuniting for the first time since the Big Boat sailed —
Winslet has signed on for a starring role in the ongoing Avatar adventure at Fox
“Kate and I have been looking for something to do together for 20 years, since
our collaboration on Titanic, which was one of the most rewarding of my career,”
Cameron said. “I can’t wait to see her bring the character of Ronal to life.”
Winslet stars opposite Idris Elba in The Mountain Between Us which opens this
Friday. The Reader Oscar winner next appears in Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel for
Amazon, which opens December 1. She will also star in eOne’s untitled biopic
about American photojournalist and war correspondent Elizabeth “Lee” Miller. Her
other recent credits include Collateral Beauty, Triple 9, The Dressmaker and
Neytiri and Jake will have children in
The Avatar family is getting a little
James Cameron's Avatar 2 will introduce seven young castmembers, who will take a
trip to Pandora.
The new characters 20th Century Fox unveiled Wednesday include three children
from the Sully family (the offspring of Zoe Saldana's Neytiri and Sam
Jamie Flatters plays Neteyam, the eldest child, while Britain Dalton plays
second-born Lo'ak and Trinity Bliss rounds out the family as the youngest,
There are also three young members of the Metkayina clan of reef people, with
Bailey Bass playing a skilled freediver named Tsireya (described as like a young
Neytiri of the ocean). Filip Geljo is playing Aonung, a hunter/free diver and
son of his people's Olo'eyktan (that's clan leader in Na'vi speak), while Duane
Evans Jr. plays Rotxo, another free diver and hunter.
Meanwhile, Jack Champion is playing a human teenager named Javier "Spider"
Socorro, who was born at the Hell's Gate facility on Pandora but has more
interest in the nature of the planet than spending time at the human facility.
Entertainment Weekly broke the news of the casting, with producer Jon Landua
telling the publication the young cast will be a big part of the films going
"They represent the future generation of Pandora and play a very significant
role — not just in this movie but throughout all the movies," Landau told EW.
Cameron is currently filming Avatar 2 and 3 concurrently, with plans for 4 and 5
to be simultaneously shot soon after. The writer and director recently spoke
about his Avatar plans for this week's The Hollywood Reporter cover story.
"They're all written and they're all designed, so we literally hit the ground
running the day after Avatar 3 comes out, starting capture on 4 and 5 and then
post on those and release those," Cameron said. "That's the plan. So, it's kind
of a two-and-two structure."
20th Century Fox opens Avatar 2 on Dec. 18, 2020
‘Avatar’ Starts Production Today On Four
Consecutive Sequels At Over $1 Billion Budget
It has been long in the planning, but James
Cameron officially began production today in Manhattan Beach on the four Avatar
sequels he is shooting in succession. No one is saying when Cameron will
complete the unprecedented feat of shooting a quartet of blockbuster-budget 3D
films in sequence.
It is not only unprecedented in number — Peter Jackson shot three of The Lord of
the Rings installments together — it also will be the most expensive shoot of
its kind, at an estimated collective budget expected to surpass $1 billion. That
would sound daunting if it was any filmmaker but Cameron, who directed the two
top-grossing films of all time worldwide in Avatar and Titanic and also has
Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Aliens in his win column. Fox releases the first
Avatar sequel December 18, 2020, and the next comes a year later, with the last
two in December 2024 and 2025.
James Cameron invests in Saskatchewan
pea processing plant
Hollywood director James Cameron and his
wife, Suzy Amis Cameron, have announced they are investing in an organic pea
processing plant in Saskatchewan.
The Oscar-winning Cameron appeared Monday in Vanscoy, a village southwest of
Saskatoon, to say the couple have formed Verdient Foods to handle 160,000 tonnes
of organic pea protein.
He said that, once operational, the plant will become the largest organic pea
protein facility in North America.
The Camerons have entered into a four-year research contract with the non-profit
Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre.
They will also be working with the University of Saskatchewan and the Whitecap
Dakota First Nation.
The aim is to develop value-added organic food products that will be produced by
Canadian and global companies using ingredients from the Verdient plant.
James Cameron said at the news conference in Vanscoy the business vision was
informed by his and his wife's decision to eat a plant-based diet.
Although he said he was "not unsympathetic" to the cattle industry, Cameron is
concerned about the environmental impacts of animal agriculture.
"Frankly we can live without [meat]," said Cameron.
"We won't, so those [farmers] are safe for a while, but it's very important for
us to shift — I believe, as a civilization — shift our focus to that expanding
wedge of plant-based proteins."
Asked about possible concerns from cattle farmers in Saskatchewan, Premier Brad
Wall said the province should be responding to market signals from around the
"Consider the fact that we're trying to build our relationship with countries
that have a high population of vegetarians — India is a great example," he said.
"There's a reason why we have 80 per cent of their lentil imports from about
15,000 Saskatchewan farmers and a significant portion of peas as well."
Cameron did not provide a dollar amount for his financial investment in the
plant, but said the "ballpark is big."
He added that demand for plant proteins like pea protein is increasing. But he
believes the meat sector will survive because the overall demand for food is
Cameron is a Canadian-born filmmaker behind the blockbuster movies Titanic and
His wife is an environmental advocate and former actor.
‘True Lies’ Movie Rebooted As TV Series
Fox is developing a TV series version of
the Arnold Schwarzenegger action classic “True Lies,” Variety has confirmed.
Fox has given the potential series a put pilot commitment. The one-hour drama
would be based on the 1994 film, which saw Schwarzenegger playing a superspy who
keeps his true occupation a secret from his wife and daughter. The original also
starred Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Tia Carrere, Art Malik, Eliza
Dushku, and Grant Heslov. The film was a financial success, grossing over $378
Marc Guggenheim will write and executive produce the project. James Cameron, who
directed the film, will executive produce along with McG, Jon Landau, Rae
Sanchini, and Mary Viola. McG is also attached to direct the pilot. 20th Century
Fox TV will produce in association with McG’s Wonderland Sound & Vision and
Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment.
“True Lies” joins a long list of reboots for this development season. As Variety
previously reported, NBC is developing “The Munsters” and “Miami Vice,” while
ABC is working on a live-action retelling of “The Jetsons.” And over on the
streaming side, Amazon has “Starsky and Hutch” from “Guardians of the Galaxy”
mastermind James Gunn.
Should “True Lies” make it to series, it would also be the latest in a long line
of films adapted into TV series. In recent years, broadcast networks have
created TV versions of films like “Limitless,” “Frequency,” “Taken,” “Training
Day,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Uncle Buck,” “Rush Hour,” and “Minority Report,” to name
just a few. Fox also tried to adapt “Behind Enemy Lines” into a series last
season, but the project did not end up being ordered to series.
Conversation with James Cameron and Tim
Miller on Sept 19th
Terminator: A Conversation with James
Cameron and Tim Miller
DATE AND TIME
Tue, September 19, 2017
7:30 PM – 11:30 PM PDT
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Join filmmakers James Cameron and Tim Miller on the Paramount Lot for an
exclusive conservation with The Hollywood Reporter’s Matt Belloni about their
collaboration on the upcoming Terminator.
The conversation will be followed by screening of Terminator 2: Judgment Day in
Register now for tickets. A limited number of tickets are available on a first
come, first served basis. Schedule and programming subject to change. Please
note that all cell phones/recording devices will be collected by security upon
entering the theater and redistributed immediately afterwards.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day 3D tops UK
Would you believe the current number one
film in the UK is a 26-year old re-release?
Yes, the digitally remastered 3D reissue James Cameron’s much-loved ‘Terminator
2: Judgement Day’ has officially topped the British box office on its opening
day, distributor Studiocanal has announced.
Re-released on Tuesday 29th August, ‘T2’ went straight to number one with
overall takings of £448,162, amounting to 17% of the overall UK box office that
This one day gross beats that of other high profile re-releases including the 3D
reissue of ‘Jurassic Park’ (£409, 486), the 2015 re-release of the ‘Back to the
Future’ trilogy (£236,684), and ‘Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut’ (£150,597).
The sci-fi action sequel starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert
Patrick and Edward Furlong was the biggest film of the year on its initial
release in 1991, making $520 million worldwide (a whole lot more adjusted for
James Cameron has long been the most vocal advocate of 3D in the film industry.
His 2009 mega-hit ‘Avatar’ was the highest-profile 3D film ever, and the
director followed it with a 3D re-release of his previous mega-hit ‘Titanic’ in
2012; these films remain the two highest earning box office hits of all time.
Cameron has also suggested that a 3D reissue of his earlier favourite ‘Aliens’
might also be in the pipeline should ‘Terminator 2’s 3D re-release prove a
success – so these figures might bode well for that becoming a reality.
Cameron and Schwarzenegger have also both confirmed their involvement in a new,
sixth ‘Terminator’ film which is believed to be in development – although it is
unlikely Cameron will return as director (‘Terminator 2’ marked the end of the
series for him), as he is currently working on four ‘Avatar’ sequels
Happy Birthday James Cameron
We at JamesCameronOnline.com want to wish
Jim a wonderful birthday, and many more conquered mountains. Your work continues
to thrill, awe and inspire generations after generations
James Cameron interviews on ET and AP
for T2 in 3D
Watch new interviews conducted with Jim
Cameron on Terminator 2 Judgment Day in 3D with Entertainment Tonight and
James Cameron live Facebook Q&A on T2 3D
Watch the Q&A with Jim Cameron on T2 in 3D
that was conducted live on Terminator 2's facebook page
James Cameron Interview on T2
Watch the new interview with James Cameron
on Terminator 2 Judgment Day and its rerelease in 3D
New James Cameron Australian Interview
Read the new interview with James Cameron
on the Australian news.com.au website about the future of the Terminator
Terminator 2 3D and 4K blurays announced
Now this is exciting Terminator fans! Zavvi,
an entertainment company based in the United Kingdom and known for their lavish
home video releases, has just announced what their blu-ray collector’s edition
for Terminator 2: Judgment Day 3D will contain! While many expected another
Endoskull bust collectible, Zavvi has just announced a collector’s edition
containing a T-800 Endo Arm!
With a reported sale price of £124.99 ($143.20 U.S. at the current exchange
rate), this collectible will contain not only just an Endoarm collectible, but
four discs as well! They are reportedly a 4K, 3D, and standard Blu-Ray… as well
as a CD! Could the CD be the original soundtrack for T2? Why yes, it is! There
will also be a brand new documentary, plus fans will get James Cameron’s fan
favorite extended Special Edition as well (which means the special edition
scenes were likely remastered and converted into 3D too!) This is great news for
all Terminator fans!
TERMINATOR 2: ENDO ARM (4K + BLU-RAY 3D + BLU-RAY + CD) BLU-RAY
A BRAND NEW RESTORATIONJames Cameron’s epic action, sci-fi
masterpiece starring Schwarzenegger in his most iconic role, has been stunningly
restored by Cameron himself. First hitting our screens in 1991 with
ground-breaking special effects, this version will take the seminal blockbuster
to the next level of effects and into the 21st century for a new generation of
It has been 10 years since the events of Terminator. Sarah Connor’s ordeal is
only just beginning as she struggles to protect her son John, the future leader
of the human resistance against the machines, from a new Terminator, sent back
in time to eliminate John Connor while he’s still a child.
Sarah and John don’t have to face this terrifying threat alone however. The
human resistance have managed to send them an ally, a warrior from the future
ordered to protect John Connor at any cost.
The battle for tomorrow has begun…
NEW – T2: Reprogramming The Terminator documentary (including exclusive
interviews with Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Cameron, Edward Furlong and many
2 feature Commentaries; 23 members of Cast & Crew (1993)/ director James Cameron
& co-author William Wisher
The making of T2 –1993
Seamless Branching of the Theatrical cut, Director’s Cut and Special extended
2 Deleted Scenes with audio commentary
Trailers – NEW T2:3D trailer (2017) T2 theatrical trailer ‘This time there are
two’/ ‘Same make new mission’/ Building the perfect Arnold
The release date for US will be October 3rd
Neca Announces first ever James Cameron
“The collectibles company NECA announced
Monday that Cameron is joining the Aliens universe in the form of an action
figure which finds him depicted as a colonel in the United States Colonial
Marine Corps and will be released in November.
The figure is 7 inches tall, has more than 25 points of articulation, features
Cameron as he appeared during the filming of the 1986 science fiction sequel,
and comes with a pistol, pulse rifle, tracking device, and viewfinder. The
figure’s clothing is decorated with a Canadian flag shoulder patch and a Pandora
planet patch as well as the logo of the “real” Cameron’s company, Lightstorm.
This is the first time Cameron has allowed his likeness to be used for an action
In the U.S., the Cameron action figure is now available to pre-order at the NECA
website and will also be sold at Toys ‘R’ Us stores. There are no retail
restrictions internationally. Comic-Con attendees can see the action figure at
the NECA booth (#3145) beginning on Preview Night.”
A Terminator 2: Judgment Day 3D Trailer
with James Cameron
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator is back
— in three dimensions! James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day is returning
to cinemas on Aug. 25 and the 1991 science fiction classic will be in 3-D for
the first time. The conversion was overseen by Cameron himself and this new
version of his mayhem-packed film, about a time-traveling cyborg
(Schwarzenegger) and the young boy (Edward Furlong) he must protect, is
presented by Distrib Films US.
“The 4K 3-D restoration and conversion of the film looks stunning, and after 26
years the film hasn’t aged one little bit,” said François Scippa-Kohn, President
and Partner at Distrib Films US, in a statement.
Terminator 2 costars Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, Earl Boen, and Joe Morton.
Details of the Terminator 2 screenings can be found at the official website of
the 3-D release.
watch the clip
Avatar 2 to be shown in glasses-free 3D
Filmmaker James Cameron, forever an
advocate for the 3D format, has achieved his ambition of letting audiences watch
his Avatar sequels in 3D without having to don a pair of glasses.
Last November, the director revealed his plans to further innovate the format,
stating: “I’m still very bullish on 3D, but we need brighter projection, and
ultimately I think it can happen - with no glasses. We’ll get there.“
The move will work wonders for Avatar 2, a sequel many felt a tad unnecessary
considering it will arrive over ten years after the 2009 original - this 3D
development will no doubt see film fans flocking to multiplexes to experience
Inquisitr reports that Cameron’s production company Lightstorm Entertainment has
extended its partnership with Christie Digital granting it access to the
latter’s new RGB laser projection system. It will result in a clearer picture,
although there is currently no word on how many cinemas will show the sequel in
Until this point, glasses-free 3D has only been available on Nintendo 3DS.
Cameron’s Avatar sequels are said to follow Jake (Sam Worthington) Neytiri (Zoe
Saldana) and their children's “battle with humans.” Cast additions have included
Fear the Walking Dead star Cliff Curtis as well as Oona Chaplin (Game of
Thrones, Black Mirror).
Game of Thrones alum joins James
Cameron's four Avatar sequels
Oona Chaplin is trading Westeros for the
jungles of Pandora.
Chaplin, best known for playing the ill-fated Talisa Stark on Game of Thrones,
has signed on to star in James Cameron’s upcoming Avatar sequels, EW has
confirmed. She will play a character named Varang, who will appear in all four
The original Avatar debuted in 2009 to major box office success, and Cameron has
been discussing potential sequels ever since. In April, 20th Century Fox
confirmed release dates for all four sequels, with the first one scheduled to
hit theaters on Dec. 18, 2020. The other three will debut on Dec. 18, 2020, Dec.
17, 2021, and Dec. 20, 2024.
Original stars Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, and Sam Worthington are all
expected to return for the sequels, and last month, the cast reunited with
Cameron at the unveiling of Walt Disney World’s newest land: Pandora – The World
of Avatar. In April, Weaver said that production on the next film is expected to
begin later this year.
In addition to her role on Game of Thrones, Chaplin — who is the granddaughter
of Charlie Chaplin — also starred opposite Tom Hardy in the FX series Taboo.
A Talk with Randall Frakes, the author
of The Terminator and T2 novelizations
JamesCameronOnline had a pleasure to talk
to Randall Frakes, a long time friend and collaborator of James Cameron, who is
perhaps best known to Jim Cameron fans for writing the novelizations for the
Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day aka T2. He also collaborated with
Cameron on many levels, from creating the sound of the Alien Queen to
brainstorming on many of his movies. You can check the Q&A in our SPECIAL
FEATURES section or go directly to
James Cameron addresses gap between
Smashing box-office records in 2009, Avatar
quickly became the highest-grossing film of all time, James Cameron beating his
own record-breaking Titanic. Despite the financial incentive, Cameron and the
film studio will release the sequel in 2019, ten years after the original
reached cinemas. As a result, there’s some hesitancy regarding whether there’s
still longing for another Avatar outing.
Asked by CNN whether worried about the gap between the last Avatar and further
Avatar-related releases — such as the upcoming Disney’s Pandora theme park —
Camron reminded the interviewer about the gap between other films in other
“It was a seven-year gap between The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day,
a seven-year gap between Alien and Aliens,” the famed director said before
reaffirming how the prospect of another four Avatar films is unlike anything
anyone has done before.
“It’s going to be obviously more like a ten-year gap between Avatar and Avatar
2. But Avatar 2 you are going to with not the promise, but the certainty of
three more films beyond that, and that’s a very different concept with the
audience. And a lot of the delay has been around creating that overall vision”.
Recently, the four sequels were given release dates by 20th Century Fox,
starting 18 December 2020, the rest coming 17 December 2021, 20 December 2024,
and 19 December 2025.
Previously talking about the project, Cameron said: “The thing is, my focus
isn’t on Avatar 2. My focus is on Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5 equally. That’s exactly
how I’m approaching it.
Bob Iger, James Cameron Open Pandora:
World of Avatar at Walt Disney World
Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger and
“Avatar” director James Cameron opened Pandora: World of Avatar at Walt Disney
World Resort in Florida on Wednesday.
“This is literally a dream has come true,” explained Cameron, who first
conceived the world of Pandora in his sleep as a 19-year-old.
The park — the largest expansion in the history of Disney’s Animal Kingdom — was
inspired by that dream and the 2009 blockbuster “Avatar.” It officially opens on
May 27, but VIP guests were treated to a special dedication ceremony.
“At Disney we have a ‘how did they do that’ standard,” Iger boasted while
standing in front of Pandora’s infamous floating mountains. “I can’t think of a
better example of that than what we’re standing in front of right now.”
Iger thanked the imagineers who conceived and executive the project, as well as
the man who created the world of “Avatar” — Cameron himself.
“”He does the impossible again and again and again, merging wonderful
storytelling with mind-blowing technology to create experiences that no one has
seen before. And ‘Avatar’ is definitely one of them,” Iger continued.
Among the attractions in the new expansion: a first person 3D ride called Avatar
Flight of Passage, a gentler ride through a bio-luminescent forest called Na’vi
River Journey, and the exotic environs of the Valley of Mo’ara.
“This is the kind of emotional experience that is not only part of the brand
story for our films, it’s a reminder of the stunning world created in James
Cameron’s imagination — a world that will astonish and delight generations to
come, both on screen and through immersive fan experiences like Pandora the
World of Avatar.” said Stacey Snider, CEO and Chairman, 20th Century Fox Film.
Many of the “Avatar” cast — including Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and
Sigourney Weaver — joined Iger, Cameron and Snider for the celebration.
According to Iger, “Pandora is just as great in person as it is on screen.”
Check out the dedication ceremony here -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJk8II7TcZI (jump to the 9:50 mark)
Cliff Curtis lands major role in Avatar
Kiwi actor and Fear The Walking Dead star
Cliff Curtis will play the lead character in the next Avatar films.
Producer Jon Landau told the NZ Herald that Curtis will play the lead character
in all four of James Cameron's upcoming Avatar films.
Landau said he and New Zealand-based director James Cameron were very excited.
Curtis will play Tonowari, who is the leader of the Metkayina, the reef people
Curtis had hinted at the exciting news in early May. "I've actually got quite a
good project coming up," Curtis told Stuff. "Which I'm not allowed to say
anything about, but I'm quite excited about. They're going to work around my
commitments on the TV show, so that's all good."
Production will begin next year at Wellington's Stone Street Studios, with
returning cast members Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington and Sigourney Weaver joining
The first of the four sequels is due for release in December 2020, with the
final film set to release in 2025.
The original Avatar was released in 2009 and remains the all-time box office
champion with a worldwide gross of nearly NZ$4 billion. Curtis, one of New
Zealand's biggest film and TV exports, has featured in some of New Zealand's
most celebrated films, including The Piano, Once Were Warriors, Whale Rider and
The Dark Horse.
He received the top honour Arts and Entertainment, as well as the Supreme award
at the first Matariki Awards in Auckland last year.
New Official Terminator 2 Judgment Day
3D website has launched
An official Terminator 2 Judgment Day 3D
website has just launched today, you can see it here -
New Official Terminator 2 Judgment Day
3D trailer is here, reveals digital alterations
The trailer for Terminator 2: Judgment Day
in 3D has been officially released, and you can see it here -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnjrhlzJRwU. You can also check some
of the minor digital alterations that were done on the movie here -
Terminator 2 Anniversary Official
Unstoppablecards.com will be releasing
brand new T2 trading card in time for the release of Terminator 2: Judgment Day
in 3D. Head on to
James Cameron's 'Titanic' Secrets: "It's
Time I Gave My Version of What Happened"
As the Oscar-winning blockbuster nears its
20th anniversary, the director looks back at the tense studio negotiations and
strategic release plan in connection with a new book on the studio head who
greenlit the movie.
Twenty years after he scored what, at the time, was the biggest hit in movie
history with 1997’s Titanic, director James Cameron for the first time reveals
some of the behind-the-scenes drama behind his classic film in this letter he
wrote to THR’s Stephen Galloway for his new biography, Leading Lady: Sherry
Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker (Crown Archetype, out April
25). Here’s Cameron in his own words:
Peter Chernin at Fox [then-20th Century Fox chairman] had made it clear that he
wanted a partner to share the pain on a $100 million (or so we thought at the
time) chick flick. I told Peter that finding a partner was his problem, I had a
movie to make, so I just proceeded hell-bent toward production, and Fox
continued to fund the film while they scrambled to find a partner.
In late July of ’96, only a couple weeks before we were to start principal
photography, and with the construction of the studio in Baja in full swing and
the full-size ship set already being built, Casey Silver at Universal passed
after a long dalliance. But Paramount was interested — Sherry [Lansing] had read
the script and thought it was good. I was due to start photography of the
present-day scenes in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in a few days, and had no time to
deal with studio politics.
I had one brief call with Sherry in which she was very positive about the power
of the script.
I have no idea how much Sherry had to do with all this business maneuvering. She
was always the creative interface between us and Paramount, and remained highly
supportive of the film.
Sherry was very complimentary about the dailies as we went along. She shared
with me later that she was very excited that the raw footage captured the sweep
and emotion promised by the script. I had only ever done sci-fi, horror and
action previously, so this must have been a relief. However, at the same time
the costs were spiraling out of control, so I remember the praise from all
parties becoming more sparing as time went on — they didn’t want to encourage me
to sacrifice schedule for quality.
Sherry always loved the film but [when the release date loomed] the business
heads at Paramount acted like they'd been diagnosed with terminal cancer — a lot
of grim faces and a triage approach to releasing the movie. Everyone thought
they were going to lose money, and all efforts were simply to make sure the
hemorrhage was not fatal. Nobody was playing for the upside, myself included,
because nobody could have imagined what was about to happen next.
In post in the late spring of ’97, as we were trying desperately to complete the
visual effects in time for a summer release it became increasingly clear to me
that we were going to miss the July release date, and we were going to have to
make major cuts and compromises in order to meet any deadline in summer. We’d
had an extremely successful preview in Minneapolis that gave us our first hint
that the movie transcended expectations. But the reality of getting the film
done at the necessary level of visual quality was becoming almost impossible.
The film was simply too long and the visual effects too unprecedented. It seemed
we would miss any date in July and have to push into August, which was
considered a dumping ground. And even then, there would be serious compromises
to the editing, the effects and the music. Making the film shorter was taking
longer. In the cutting room, the film was getting shorter by a few seconds a day
— it was liking cutting a diamond. We didn’t want to screw it up by hacking at
it, but we were desperate to get it shorter.
We were also being pummeled relentlessly in the press, especially the industry
trade papers — about epic cost overruns, set safety, delivery dates and just
about everything. We were the biggest morons in Hollywood history and the press
had the long knives out, sharpening them as we approached our summer release. It
would have reached a crescendo of scorn just as we put the film in theaters.
I pitched the concept that the best way to deal with the negative press was to
take a step back. To move away from the crescendo of ridicule and let them fall
on their face. They could only sustain the negative story so long. By December
it would have long ago run its course, and they'd have to come up with something
new to make ink. That something might just be the fact that the film was
actually good, and worth all the drama of production.
My example was the martial art of aikido, where you use the opponent's own
momentum against them to take them down. The press were attacking so
aggressively that the only way to throw them was to step back and let them go
flying past, and fall because of their own inertia.
And it turned out that the strategy, with regard to press and the marketplace,
worked perfectly. No one more surprised than myself, because nothing like it had
ever been tried. But it was a strategy that revealed itself in the heat of
battle — necessity was the mother of invention. And desperate times called for
I screened the film for Sherry on a flat-screen monitor at an Avid desk, in what
is now my eight-year-old daughter's bedroom at our house in Malibu. She sat to
my right and I talked her through it as I played the film reel by reel, because
Avids at that time couldn't play out more than about 20 minutes of cut material.
It was still in a rough state with a lot of effects missing or still in the form
of videomatics or storyboards. The score was mostly temp (a lot of Enya), though
a few of James Horner’s memorable melodies were in, in the form of synthesizer
She had a very emotional reaction. She said she thought it was a great love
story, on the order of Gone with the Wind, and it really held her throughout,
despite the crude play-out.
She had a few comments, all of which were positive and insightful. I don't
recall her being overly concerned about length, although there was an overall
sense from everyone involved, myself as well, that it needed to be shorter. But
to her the important thing was that the chemistry between Jack and Rose
[Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet] worked, and the drama paid off at the end.
She was a big fan of the slightly enigmatic ending, as I recall. Was old Rose
still alive and dreaming of Jack, or had she died and gone to be reunited with
him in Titanic heaven? We had a long talk about that.
My memory of the session was that she loved the film, and it was a big turning
point for me because we were in a very bleak place emotionally, trying to finish
the movie. Everyone was against us, and we knew we would always carry this huge
albatross of going almost twice the proposed budget for the rest of our careers
(if there even was going to be a career after that). And all of a sudden, we had
a studio head saying that somehow, at some level, it had all been worth it. Mind
you — nobody thought we were EVER going to break even. And I pretty much assumed
at that time that I’d never work again.
[The ad campaign] was an ongoing battle. We had cut a reel in March of '97 (nine
months before the release) for ShoWest that was about four minutes long. The
first glimpse of the movie to be revealed to the world, coming on the heels of
all the negative stories of budget and schedule overruns. The reel told a tragic
love story in pictures, with music rather than words. It was very classy and
artistic. Despite all the negative press swirling around the production, that
ShoWest reel gave everyone pause. For ten seconds, there was a moment of silence
and a grudging murmur that maybe this film wasn't a total disaster after all.
Then all the negative press started again and the moment was forgotten.
Now cut to November '97 and we’re trying to make TV spots to sell a 3-hour and
15-minute love story in 30 seconds. All the spots emphasized action and peril.
We felt that grotesquely under-sold the movie — making it seem like a latter-day
Poseidon Adventure at best. We lobbied strenuously to create more emotional
spots. It was agreed to do some love-story spots and target them to female
audiences (to air during daytime, on Oprah etc.).
I recall the campaign ultimately became this mixed bag of action, spectacle and
romance. I think the general audience take-away was that it was a disaster
movie, not a chick flick — which was probably necessary to get it open.
I was so pummeled getting the movie done that, by that time, I didn’t fight too
hard for anything. I remember that we ALL agreed on one thing — that the long
shot of Rose and Jack clinging to each other as the vertical stern of the ship
plunges down shrieking and groaning, with bodies falling hundreds of feet down
toward churning water, was a slam dunk. I think that shot alone got our opening
We did two premieres outside of the US, where they had no jurisdiction, being
only the domestic distributors. The first was in Tokyo, to open the Tokyo
International Film Festival. This was to completely sidestep what we saw as a
negative and biased U.S. press. So the first reviews, the first thing anyone
heard about the finished film, was coming out of Tokyo and it was resoundingly
Then we did a royal command performance screening in Leicester Square in London
for Prince Charles (the Queen gave it a pass). And again, the waves of positive
word of mouth were rolling onto American shores from afar.
So reviewers in the U.S. had to put away their prejudice and poison pens and
judge the film on its own merits. This strategy was done in spite of Paramount,
but fully supported by Fox, especially Tom Sherak and Jim Gianopulos (then head
of international distribution). Jim G actually came to Tokyo and personally
approved the installation of a new sound system and projectors at the Orchid
Hall, where we premiered.
Throughout this ugly period, Sherry remained staunchly supportive of the movie,
and the film had many supporters within the ranks of the Paramount's
distribution and marketing team. So in the end we put out spots, trailers and
ads that everyone was happy with, and we launched an effective campaign that
managed to open the film to number one on its opening weekend, just edging out
the Bond film [Tomorrow Never Dies] by a tiny percentage.
That was exactly the foothold in the marketplace that we needed — the platform
upon which Titanic built, week over week, to stay number one for 16 weeks
straight, all the way till April — a feat never accomplished before or since.
Work has begun on FOUR sequels to
Avatar, James Cameron reveals dates
The original 2009 3D blockbuster won three
Oscars for its stunning visual effects, cinematography and art direction.
In a Facebook post Cameron wrote: "Great to be working with the best team in the
"Avatar takes flight as we begin concurrent production on four sequels.
"The journey continues December 18, 2020, December 17, 2021, December 20, 2024
and December 19, 2025!"
He included an image of the Avatar team alongside the post on the film's
official Facebook page.
The first sequel had originally been due out in 2018 but Cameron said last month
that it would not be possible to make that deadline
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