A Minute With: James Cameron about "Sanctum"

Thu Feb 3, 2011 9:29am EST
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - One year after his 3D adventure "Avatar" was ringing up movie ticket sales on its way to a global box office record of $2.8 billion, James Cameron is back in theaters with a new thriller, "Sanctum."

The movie, which was produced by Cameron and directed by Alister Grierson, tells of a diving team that becomes trapped in underwater caves. The group must find a way out while battling raging water, paranoia and panic as its equipment and supplies dwindle.

Shot in 3D, "Sanctum" hits theaters on Friday. Cameron spoke to Reuters about why nature figures prominently in his work and how his "Avatar" is coming along.

Q: This film is based on an actual experience that "Sanctum" producer and co-writer Andrew Wight had in Australia. What about nature makes it at once terrifying and beautiful?

A: "When you deal with the ocean or a cave, it's going to do what its going to do, and it does not care if you're there. You can get swatted like a fly. On the other hand, nature offers us incredible gifts, incredible beauty and incredible insights. It's a give and take."

Q: This film is a bit of a departure for you -- it's an independent thriller with no stars. It's not one of your big-budget studio films or one of your many documentaries.

A: "There's a list of things we have to tell people that 'Sanctum' is not. It's not a documentary. It's not a monster movie in a cave. There's no supernatural component to this. It's pure survival drama."

Q: The environment itself is almost like a character.   Continued...

<p>Filmmaker James Cameron, executive producer of "Sanctum", arrives at the film's premiere in Hollywood, January 31, 2011. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>