Titanic 3D: Blockbuster sails again

Titanic sails back into cinemas in a 3D makeover timed to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking. Here the film's creator James Cameron talks about the reincarnation of the 1997 mega-hit.

For film-maker James Cameron, the 3D re-release of his Oscar-winning epic Titanic is far from simply an opportunity to cash in on the centenary of the great ship's demise.

In fact the Canadian-born 57-year-old will shun the glitz and glamour planned for the milestone anniversary in April, fearing it would be seen as promotion for the film in its new guise.

"I've been invited to so many things and I could easily spend two weeks on the road just going around to all the different memorials, and dinners and things that are being done," Cameron told reporters in London after the world premiere of the 3D re-release.

"I almost set up a dive to the wreck to just be literally there a hundred years later, but then that started to take on aspects of promotion. Suddenly Fox and Paramount wanted to do a satellite feed ... I didn't want to do any of that stuff.

"Anything that sort of smacked of something that might be interpreted as promotion for the movie, I just didn't [want]."

The creator of box office hits including Avatar and Terminator, who also plays part-time explorer, returned from a submarine dive to the deepest part of the ocean two days before the London premiere.

In researching Titanic, he made 33 dives to the watery grave of the massive vessel, where it lies after striking an iceberg at 11.40pm on April 14, 1912.

"What I do every year is, on April 14 at 11.40 at night, I just hoist a drink, privately, usually just by myself ... to the officers and the crew and the passengers and the survivors and those who didn't survive, of Titanic," Cameron said.

"It's just a personal observance.

"And that might be all I do this year because everything else always quickly spins into 'how can we turn this into promotion for the movie?"'

It's easy to tell from speaking with Cameron that the Titanic production is more than just a film and he sees the re-release as heightening the experience, although in terms of content, nothing has changed from the 1997 original.

"I think the 3D version can be the definitive version," Cameron said.

"Let's fast-forward to 50 years from now when all movies are in 3D, what are [audiences] more likely to watch? Which version are they more likely to watch of Titanic? They'll watch the 3D version."

He described as "painstaking" the US$18 million ($22 million), 62-week 3D conversion process which saw 300 people working on 279,000 frames.

"I didn't enjoy the process of it, I just enjoyed the end result," Cameron said.

"The timelessness of the subject, the timelessness of the style, I always believed it was a film that could come back to the marketplace as if it was a new film.

"Titanic is complex ... the closer you get to it you see so much more detail.

"It can become quite mesmerising and there are people who go down the rabbit hole and never come out.

"I think I'm at a point right now where I'm ready to close that chapter of my life with the re-release of the movie and the 100th year memorials and so on. I don't feel I need to go back and explore the wreck anymore.

"[I'm] pretty much done."


What: Titanic 3D
When: Opens at cinemas on Thursday


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