No, Avatar 2 will still take place on Pandora. But that doesn’t mean that James Cameron has exhausted his interest in visiting other planets – especially when he can visit them in 3D.

The innovative filmmaker reportedly convinced NASA to include a 3D camera rig on the Curiosity rover – which is scheduled for a 2011 launch. Cameron is now an official consultant to the Curiosity camera team, fueling speculation that the director is gearing up for another out-of-this-world project – a 3D Mars documentary.

A 3D camera was part of the 2007 design for Curiosity but budget constraints caused the NASA team to remove the tech – until James Cameron spoke with NASA director, Charles Bolden, mano-a-mano.

One can only imagine how that conversation went but it’s fair to assume that, considering Cameron’s success at the box-office (which includes several documentary endeavors) the filmmaker was able to convince Bolden the additional costs would be a worthy investment. In addition to the profitability of a 3D Mars documentary, Cameron is chiefly interested in how a 3D camera might generate excitement for mission.

Cameron spoke to the Pasadena Star News about his meeting with Bolden, offering praise for the NASA director’s ambition, “He actually was really open to the idea, our first meeting went very well.”

In regards to the mission as a whole, it’s easy to see Cameron’s creative juices flowing (as well as his imagination):

“It’s a very ambitious mission. It’s a very exciting mission. [The scientists are] going to answer a lot of really important questions about the previous and potential future habitability of Mars.”

The 3D camera featured on the Curiousity will record ten frames per second and will be attached to the rover’s mast.

A Mars documentary could be a great use for 3D tech – depending on how immersive the footage turns out to be. The inclusion of Curiosity’s 3D camera may not be the same overt cash-grab as a lot of 3D films in the pipeline but time will tell if the tech turns out to be a great way of experiencing Mars of just another opportunity for Cameron to push the format.

What do you think of Cameron’s push for 3D on Curiosity’s mission? Is the director overstepping his bounds?

Source: Pasadena Star News