James Cameron's Movieline Interview: Titanic Rerelease Tweaks and His Hiroshima Biopic

Last Thursday, I had a lengthy, terrific interview with James Cameron in advance of the special edition of Avatar (rereleased to theaters August 27), and all this week, Movieline will bring you pieces of that wide-ranging talk.

Though it's looking very likely that James Cameron might set up a pair of back-to-back Avatar sequels as his next project, there are still a couple of other items on his slate clamoring for his attention. In fact, there's only one Cameron-directed film that's actually on the books: the Titanic rerelease, coming out in April of 2012. Since Cameron has inserted several new minutes into his Avatar special edition, can we expect Titanic to feature a similar handful of never-before-seen scenes?

"No," he told Movieline. "As of right now, the plan is to do a 3D conversion and to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Titanic with a rerelease of the film, and to show it on the big screen to a whole new generation that has never seen the film theatrically."

Still, I wondered: If Cameron was already upgrading the film to run in 3D, would he consider tweaking the 1999 special effects?

"I don't think so," he said, then paused. "The only thing -- and this is a little bit of [me] being a rivet-counting nerd, after dissing the font nerd -- is that we might correct a couple things that were factually inaccurate on the [boat] model, digitally. Things that just slipped by us when we were making the film, so that if people were to look at the movie a hundred years from now, they'd say, 'That's what Titanic looked like.'"

Still, he promises that those changes will be almost negligible to the actual viewer -- in fact, Cameron says, there are a lot of interior sets he could change if he really wanted to be a stickler for accuracy.

"We're not going to go as far as [correcting] things that we found on the expeditions exploring inside the real ship with robots, where we found that our reference was wrong and we'd actually built the sets incorrectly because the reference photos were not from that ship, they were from a sister ship," he said. "There were things that were actually built differently in Titanic, but we're not going to change those."

Another project Cameron would like to tackle is Last Train to Hiroshima, about Japanese atomic bomb survivors during World War II. Though some pundits speculated that Cameron might table Hiroshima after the book it was based on was found to have numerous factual inaccuracies, he still stands by author Charles Pellegrino.

"It's an amazing book, there's amazing research," he says. "It deals with people who were survivors of one of the bombings -- meaning Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- or both, in some cases. There are a number of people interviewed for the book who survived both bombings, if you can imagine that -- there have only been two atomic bombs launched against human targets in history, and there are people who have survived both of them. Now, I'm not talking about people who survived it standing forty miles away -- they were under it. It's unbelievable, and the detail is unbelievable."

Still, Cameron would like to clarify that he had never planned on directly adapting Pellegrino's novel. "It's a story that's fascinated me since college, and it's something I'm going to make a film about someday. My plan was never to adapt that book -- I optioned the book because it was great research and I wanted access to those stories -- but it needs to be shaped in a wraparound way that makes sense. That hasn't been done yet."

MONDAY: Cameron on the Avatar Rerelease and That Sex Scene

TUESDAY: Cameron Takes on Bad 3D, Inception, and Spider-Man

WEDNESDAY: Cameron on Avatar 2

TODAY: Cameron on the Titanic Rerelease and Future Projects

FRIDAY: Cameron on His Long-Lost Music Video and Falling in Love with Kathryn Bigelow



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