Filmmaker James Cameron has been pretty darn prolific in his career in the industry. His engineer’s brain has played a key role in his projects, and his adventurer’s spirit continues to propel his craft.
It’s been 84 years since — sorry, sorry, 20 years. It’s been 20 years since Cameron’s Titanic hit theaters, and an updated anniversary release of the film is opening this week across the country. To celebrate that milestone, Vanity Fair did a pretty great interview with good ol’ Jim about the grand ship of dreams, the upcoming revisit to Avatar, and a few other choice items.
Namely a little story about an Oscars ceremony 19 years ago, when Titanic was sweeping everything, and Cameron almost brained Harvey Weinstein with his statue:
What do you remember from the night Titanic won the Oscars?
I remember almost getting in a fight with Harvey Weinstein and hitting him with my Oscar.
In retrospect there are probably a lot of people . . .
That would’ve preferred I had played through on that one. . . . It was happening on the main floor at the [theater] . . . And the music had started to play to get back in our seats. The people around us were saying, “Not here! Not here!” Like it was O.K. to fight in the parking lot, you know, but it was not O.K. there when the music was playing, and they were about to go live.
What were you and Harvey discussing that led to this altercation?
It’s kind of a long story, but it has to do with Guillermo del Toro and how badly he was dealt with by Miramax on Mimic. Harvey came up glad-handing me, talking about how great they were for the artist, and I just read him chapter and verse about how great I thought he was for the artist based on my friend’s experience, and that led to an altercation.
James continues on, answering a question about his upcoming Terminator revisit. He says the time is right for the franchise:
And the Terminator film, how is that going?
We’re cranking along. . . . It’s the first of three, the story is mapped out over a three-film arc, but again, if we don’t make any money there isn’t gonna be a two and a three. Technically, we’re thinking of them as three, four, and five. As if Terminator, and Terminator 2 exist, and the other ones are kind of alternate time lines that are no longer relevant.
What made you want to return to that 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. It’s just a question of who gets there first, it’s gonna be the next big arms race, it’s gonna be like the next race to get the bomb . . . And when you couple that with the kind of wired world that we live in, where we’ve basically given away our privacy and every single person walking around that’s got a smartphone is essentially a belled cat—a walking sensor platform that can be monitored from afar—it’s like we’re really on the cusp of an Orwellian Armageddon of inconceivable proportions. Therefore, I thought, hey, let’s make a movie about that. So it’s going to be a very cheerful and upbeat kind of film.
The interview is a great read if you are a fan of Cameron and his work. For further insight, check out the newest episode of NatGEO’s Star Talk with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, which has a discussion between Cameron and Tyson.
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