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James Cameron Talks ‘Cleopatra,’ Extended ‘Avatar’ & Possible ‘T2’ 3D Conversion

James Cameron Talks 'Cleopatra,' Extended 'Avatar' & Possible 'T2' 3D Conversion

Says Directing Angelina Jolie Would Be “Hot”

Hot on the heels of rumors that James Cameron may be turning his attention to a “Cleopatra” film starring none other than Angelina Jolie as the infamous temptress, comes an insightful interview from the NY Times in which the director talks about those rumors, the forthcoming extended “Avatar” and what he thinks about a possible 3D conversion of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”

As we sort of figured, “Cleopatra” seems to be nothing more than an idea on a piece of paper than something concrete with Cameron saying, “There’s a ‘Cleopatra’ project in work, meaning that it’s been in development at Sony. And it’s a subject that’s always fascinated me. So yeah, I’ve been talking to them about it but no decisions have been made. But it sounds hot, doesn’t it? I mean, Angelina Jolie and ‘Cleopatra’? To me, that’s like a slam dunk. Whether I wind up doing it or not, I think it’s going to be a great project.” With Cameron eying a number of projects on his plate including the gestating “Avatar” sequels don’t be surprised if he politely moves on or ends up just producing the film.

Cameron also gets more specific with details on the upcoming Extended Collector’s Edition of “Avatar”, which is due for release on November 16th, explaining the difference between the 16 minutes of new footage in the film, and the 47 minutes of deleted scenes: “Part of the concept here, which was a little bit radical, was, let’s do a theatrical re-release and we’ll do it in Imax and digital 3-D, and we’ll finish the effects up to a release standard. And why not finish those effects to go into an even longer cut of the film in the collector’s edition? That accounts for about 16 minutes of material. Beyond that, we have an additional 47 minutes of scenes that were taken out at various stages along the cutting process while the film was first being fitted together like a jigsaw puzzle. The film was made twice — at least the CG scenes were — to finish them up to our internal level of completion, which we called template. Then we give it to Weta Digital, and Weta Digital would finish it to the photo-real level that was for release. So we have 47 minutes of stuff that’s finished up to a template level, and it’s watchable, you get it, but you can really see that it’s not done.” So if those deleted scenes don’t quite blow your mind, cut Cameron some slack, okay? We wonder if what Cameron dismisses as “watchable” would make filmmakers working on smaller budgets cry tears of jealousy. Look to the DVD/Blu-ray on the 16th of next month to find out.

And in case you forgot, Cameron is retrofitting “Titanic” for the 3D, but may have his eye on other movies in his back catalog to get three dimensions saying, “….maybe I’ll go back to ‘T2,’ I don’t know.” C’mon Cameron, we bet you do know. — Mark Zhuravsky

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