Being tucked away in his multimillion-dollar New Zealand estate, crafting the scripts for his follow-ups to Avatar, we didn’t doubt James Cameron when he said the franchise would occupy the rest of his career. After pulling in nearly $2.8 billion for 20th Century Fox, it’s no surprise the studio is giving him all the time he needs, with our last update indicating the back-to-back sequels could head into production later this year. We’ve now got word on other tidbits — including his continued intentions to make Battle Angel and an opinion of Hollywood’s 3D usage.
Speaking at Mexico City’s technology forum TagDF on Wednesday, the filmmaker said that, to one-up Avatar, he will be shifting his focus from creating new technologies to expanding story and characters. This trans-human exploration (themes that have “haunted” him for years) will also extend to his long-rumored Battle Angel, which the filmmaker said he will begin to develop in 2017, presumably around the time he’s in post-production on Avatar 3.
We also brought you the news, earlier in the week, that Cameron helped out longtime friend Alfonso Cuarón with his own upcoming space epic, Gravity; speaking together at the forum, he opened up regarding his work. Giving a hint as to the long delays, the Children of Men director said that during the extensive production period he didn’t think he had the tools available to tell the story of astronauts stranded to space.
As he was stuck trying to complete the film, Cuarón called Cameron, who believed his obstacle was not a matter of technology but storytelling. Unfortunately, the duo don’t go into specifics as to what was adjusted in order to push forward, except to say that it was solved with the help of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. Hopefully more details on their process arrive after a Venice premiere of the Sandra Bullock– and George Clooney-led film.
Lastly, Cameron opened up about 3D, the technology he helped spring forward with Avatar. Criticizing its current use in Hollywood, Cameron says, “One thing is shooting in 3D and another is to convert to 3D.” He adds that his film “changed everything” and, now, with the increased use in all types of films, the control of 3D is getting away from the directors and being put into the money-hungry studios. Unlike films shot in 3D, he says that conversions do not convey the same visual depth, with the technology being pushed on directors “who are not comfortable or do not like 3D.”
Wrapping up, he says that films like Man of Steel and Iron Man 3 “should not necessarily be in 3D. If you spend $150 million on visual effects, the film is already going to [look] spectacular [and] perfect.” We’d like to think most audiences would agree with these statements.
One can see more of their conversation in the below, 10-minute snippet from the talk (translated from Laverdad):
Do you think we can feasibly see Cameron begin work on Battle Angel by 2017? What do you think about his Gravity help and opinions on the 3D format?