This December marks the 20th anniversary of legendary director James Cameron's 1997 film Titanic, which holds a special place in the pop culture zeitgeist to this day. Vanity Fair sat down to chat with Cameron about the anniversary and his current high-profile franchise projects Avatar and the Terminator reboot trilogy.
First up, it's time for some updates on the Avatar sequels, which have been delayed (and delayed). But in fact Cameron says the "delays" aren't all they've been made out to be. Most of that time was spent getting everything set up for the sequels.
"I wouldn’t call them delays. It was highly optimistic that we could start quickly until scripts are written. If there’s no scripts, there’s nothing, right? The scripts took four years. You can call that a delay, but it’s not really a delay, because from the time we pushed the button to really go make the movies [until now,] we’re clicking along perfectly. We’re doing very well, because of all the time that we had to develop the system and the pipeline and all that."
We already know that Kate Winslet is reuniting with Cameron for the sequels, but here's some insight into her character and how intense some of the underwater filmings have been.
"She plays a character who’s part of the Sea People, the reef people. The one thing she did do is demand that she do all her own water work. I said, “All right, that’s fine, we’ll have to teach you how to free dive.” The other actors are up to three- and four-minute breath holds. We’ve already been doing underwater capture. We did a scene last week with six teenagers, well, actually five teenagers and one 7-year-old underwater holding their breath for a couple minutes and acting, actually doing a dialogue scene under water because they speak kind of a sign language."
Okay, now a quick Terminator check-in. Cameron has already stated that this new reboot pretends the sequel films (except Terminator 2) don't exist. They are crafting a three-film arc and Cameron thinks now is the perfect time to jump back into the world.
"I just feel like the world we live in now is going to be very much defined by our co-evolution with our technology. While technology and innovation have this vast promise for our survival, it’s also an enormous threat, especially when it comes to strong [artificial intelligence] being coupled with weaponized robotics, and that’s all coming."
All of that and more! Cameron also finally explains why the heck Jack couldn't fit on the door in Titanic. Oh, and there's a story about Cameron fighting with Harvey Weinstein over his treatment of Guillermo del Toro which is quite cathartic. Make sure to check out the full Vanity Fair interview.