When it comes to realism in a motion picture, few go to the extremes like James Cameron. Even in an age when computers can make us believe most anything, if it exists in real life, the 56-year-old director will attempt to shoot it.
Cameron's 12,000-foot dive to the wreck of the "Titanic" used to be a perfect example of this — but if everything goes as planned, his next deep sea adventure will make that one pale in comparison.
In an interview with The Sunday Times
, Cameron mentioned that he's currently working with Australian engineers to build a special vessel to travel more than 36,000 feet to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific.
“We are building a vehicle to do the dive”, he told the newspaper. “It’s about half-completed in Australia.”
Cameron added that the two-seater submersible will be fitted with a heating system and 3-D cameras to capture pictures of the depths for the "Avatar" sequel. If successful, the filmmaker and his co-pilot would become only the second manned-submersible team to make it to the bottom of the trench. In 1960, a scientist and navy lieutenant descended five hours in the submersible "Trieste" to 35,797 feet, where they spent 20 minutes before beginning their ascent.
“We are using lightweight but very strong carbon composite materials and other advanced technologies very different from the Trieste, which was a hollowed-out cannonball,” he told The Times. “We believe we have solved most of the technological challenges to returning to the Mariana Trench. The real trick now is to make such vessels lighter, cheaper and more attractive to industry.”
The "Avatar" sequel is currently slated for release in 2014.