James Cameron is going back to Titanic. Teaming up with Cary Granat's recently launched Walden Media, his EarthShip Productions is producing Ghosts Of The Abyss, an underwater exploration project which will examine the respective sinkings of the Titanic and Bismarck. The six-week expedition to look at the wreckages which will form the subject of the film will set sail on Aug 13 with Cameron and his two brothers on board.
The large-screen 3-D format film will use new digital camera systems designed by Cameron himself in conjunction with Sony and aims to create a time machine of sorts - not only touring the wrecks but also recreating their sinkings. Walden Media and Cameron will co-executive produce the film; Walden Media will handle distribution, Gig Rackauskas will serve as producer.
Per Walden's mission statement to make films and programming "that educate, foster curiosity and an ongoing interest in learning," the company will produce curriculum materials for teachers and parents to bring into classrooms and homes. The company also plans to release a 90-minute version for video, TV and DVD.
Walden Media founder Granat said in a statement: "I can't imagine a better way to introduce audiences to the wonders of the sea, than through the unparalleled storytelling ability of James Cameron. A new generation of young audiences will be inspired by this film much in the way Jacques Cousteau's work introduced a young Jim Cameron ' landlocked in his hometown of Niagara Falls, Ontario ' to a passion for the sea and the wonders of oceanographic exploration."
The mother ship of the Ghosts expedition will be the Russian Academy Of Sciences' Akademic Mistislav Keldysh, which Cameron used in 1995 to pioneer the camera and lighting techniques for Titanic. Joining Cameron on the expedition will be historians, microbiologists and several actors including Bill Paxton from Titanic - on board not as actors but as explorers.
Speaking from the Keldysh, James Cameron said in a statement: "We have been preparing for this expedition for three years, putting together the technology to go beyond what's been done before. Now that we're going, everyone's pretty excited. We have a very good team, many of whom were with me on the '95 expedition. Being back on the Keldysh with our Russian friends, for the third time, is like coming home. But we have a lot of untried new technology, which has to work, so we know we're going to have hurdles, to say nothing of the hurdles Mother Nature herself might create. Last time we were out two hurricanes hit us in one month, but that's why it's not just a job, it's an adventure. Walden Media is backing us in this opportunity to expand the horizons of imaging, and it's a good fit, given their mission plan of mixing entertainment and education. Together we hope to bring to the giant screen, in 3D, images which have never been seen before, in a style which is both highly immersive and emotional."
Cameron's brother John David Cameron will produce the behind-the-scenes element of the production, while other brother Mike Cameron will serve as the chief designer of the deep diving 3D camera housing and the ROV system.
Walden was unveiled just before Cannes this year as a joint venture between former Dimension Films president Granat and Denver-based billionaire Philip Anschutz.