A Minute With: James Cameron talking new "Avatar"

Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:45am EDT
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When "Titanic" director James Cameron released his film "Avatar" last year, there were not as many theaters equipped with 3D equipment to screen the 3D version as he would have liked.

So, on Friday, film studio 20th Century Fox is releasing an "Avatar: Special Edition" version of the biggest blockbuster of all time ($2.7 billion in global ticket sales) exclusively in Imax 3D theaters and venues equipped with digital 3D.

Cameron spoke to Reuters about the nine minutes of new film on the "special edition," the movie's success, and whether movies or science is his favored pursuit.

Q: Why a new one? The first was pretty good.

A: "There are a couple of factors. There's footage I think people would be interested in. I don't want to completely reinvent the movie and turn it into something it's not. It's really more an embellishment; it's a fuller experience.

"The other factor is I think people want to see 'Avatar' in movie theaters. That's just my instinct. This all came about because when "Alice in Wonderland" came out, they had booked all the Imax 3D screens. We were still doing well, still selling out ... but we lost all those screens in one night. So, we knew there was still a market for people seeing the film."

Q: Many people, me included, thought, 'they already made $2.7 billion! How much more do they want?' Money grubbers?'"

A: "Yeah, we are just money grubbing vampires. (smiles) No, I think making money is called good business. At least, in this country it still is. And two, it's a side-effect of giving people what they want. If we're correct and this is what people want, then we've done a humanitarian service (laughs)."   Continued...

<p>Director James Cameron delivers a keynote address during the Seoul Digital Forum 2010, May 13, 2010. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak</p>