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Martin Campbell Takes ‘The Dive’

Posted by , on March 21, 2012 at 9:29 pm 

Before taking permanent residence in Pandora, James Cameron had ambitions to slow down, keep it simple(r), and just tell another aquatic love story. The film to give him this opportunity was The Dive, which, while still in his favorite format, would take a more intimate emotional journey than that of Jake and Neytiri. (Do you even remember who I’m referring to?) Maybe it’s because the focus would be a true-life story — one centering on Francisco “Pipin” Ferraras and Audrey Mestre, free-divers who would “[plunge] to unimaginable depths before swimming back to the surface.

And, busy though he may be, the project has not vanished from Cameron‘s mind. With a producing credit now to his name, the director and Lightstorm Entertainment have pegged Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, Green Lantern) to helm the picture, which 20th Century Fox are putting their distribution weight behind. J. Michael Straczynski (Changeling) has written the screenplay; it’s also expected that The Dive will retain the 3D, what with Cameron‘s involvement and all. (Avatar sequels took up his time before long, but he was still very hands-on with the process, going so far as to film “Ferraras as he did a tribute dive in memory of his late wife, plunging to the depth that cost her life.”)

Details on production starts aren’t being disclosed right now — Campbell‘s own Umbra might be something of a stopgap — but it is, all things considered, great news for a project that, personally, never even seemed like a real possibility. (In other words, any non-documentary that Cameron announces feels like wishful thinking in a post-Avatar career, as sad as that is.) Now, I’m only hoping Campbell can tap into the emotional reverb of Casino Royale and avoid the hammy schmaltz found in Edge of Darkness.

Do you think Campbell can do this story justice? Would you rather have seen Cameron?


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