James Cameron took his “2.99-D” version of “Titanic” out into open water Friday.
The director of the Oscar-winning 1997 film and producer Jon Landau previewed 18 minutes of assorted footage that has been converted into 3-D for next year’s rerelease of the film. The mastermind behind “Avatar” joked that it wasn’t fully 3-D because “Titanic” wasn’t filmed in 3-D. He was quick to note, though, that most other converted 3-D films are just “2.4-D.”
“I think it looks spectacular,” said Cameron. “If I had 3-D cameras at the time and there had been 3-D theaters at the time, I certainly would have shot it in 3-D. It’s also just a way of reinventing the concept of a rerelease and getting people to come back to theaters and commit that three hours and 15 minutes to go through the experience again.”
The footage shown during the invite-only presentation at Paramount Studios included eight scenes, spanning from Kate Winslet’s well-to-do Rose looking up at the Titanic for the first time to the moment when the stern dramatically plunges into the sea at a 90-degree angle, as well as the iconic scene of Rose and Leonardo DiCaprio’s drifter Jack embracing on the bow.
In the scenes previewed Friday, the 3-D footage showcased the conversion’s visual reinvigoration of the existing material, especially during moments involving depth, such as a car being slowly hoisted onto the deck of the ship or Jack anxiously awaiting Rose at the bottom of a grand staircase amid a series of columns that seemingly jut out of the screen.
Cameron said that DiCaprio and Winslet have yet to see the 3-D footage of “Titanic,” but he has spoken with Winslet about the project, and she is “on board.” He hasn’t talked to DiCaprio about the rerelease because he’s been busy shooting “The Great Gatsby” in Australia but he hopes to reconnect with the “J. Edgar” star soon.