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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 11:49 EDT

‘Titanic’ Director Spends Time Underwater

November 25, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) — Since becoming the king of the world seven years ago with “Titanic,” James Cameron has spent much of his time in the underwater world, making 3-D documentaries about his deep-sea explorations.

But the director is finally coming up for air and returning to science fiction with “Battle Angel,” a three-dimensional movie set in the 26th century.

Cameron, who also directed “Aliens” and the first two “Terminator” movies, told The Associated Press he’s in preproduction now and expects to start shooting in May or June. The film will take two years to make and will include about 1,500 visual effects shots.

“It’s based on a series of graphic novels done by a Japanese artist called Kishiro,” said the 50-year-old, whose “Titanic” won 11 Academy Awards including best picture and best director, and is the highest-grossing film of all time.

He wouldn’t discuss casting for the movie, but said, “It’s going to be a combination of live action and (computer graphics) but done photorealistically. There will be CG characters and live-action characters.”

He plans to use updated versions of the three-dimensional cameras he used to shoot last year’s “Ghosts of the Abyss,” his IMAX movie about diving to the real Titanic wreckage, and the upcoming “Aliens of the Deep,” another IMAX documentary about underwater exploration for which he worked with NASA scientists.

“We were originally going to release it in ’06. We decided to wait ’til ’07 because we’re trying to ride the impending wave of digital cinema,” Cameron said. “The digital cinema projectors are 3-D compatible based on the way that we want to do the 3-D display, and 35mm projectors are not. So we’ll release the film in both 2-D and 3-D theaters.”

At that point, though, you’ll still have to wear those dorky red-and-blue cardboard glasses to experience the 3-D visual effects.

“Oh yeah,” he said. “No 3-D without glasses.”