There are few names in film more closely associated with science fiction than James Cameron. The director, writer, and producer of two of the highest grossing films of all time, Cameron has also lent his talents to making some of the most memorable and genre films in the past 30 years. From making “I’ll be back” into a career-building catchphrase for Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator to giving a group of rowdy space marines more than one xenomorph to shoot at in Aliens, many of the acclaimed director’s most well-known films have also set high-water marks in the realm of sci-fi.
In recent years, Cameron has been developing the world of Pandora, after turning Avatar into an astonishing success few could have imagined possible – especially after the almost certain failure of his Academy Award-winning Titanic shattered long-standing box office records. Needless to say, the many Avatar sequels that are currently planned have taken up a great deal of Cameron’s time, but it turns out he’s going to make room for a documentary series about one of his favorite subjects.
As reported by THR, Cameron will team with AMC for a six-part docuseries covering the realm of science fiction. Tentatively titled, James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, the series will consist of six one-hour episodes, each exploring a single question that has been addressed via different forms of media, such as film, television, books, and video games. The plan is to explore the ways in which science fiction has tackled these questions, and whether or not, as Cameron and others intend to debate, there is any distinction to the answers it has provided.
From the sound of it, others working in the field of science fiction will join Cameron, who will host, though names of other science-fiction luminaries have yet to be announced. And considering Cameron’s pedigree, it might not be too outlandish to think that potential line-up might include some heavy hitters. In speaking about the impetus of the docuseries, Cameron said:
“When I was a kid, I basically read any book with a spaceship on the cover and I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey many, many times. The movie inspired me to become a filmmaker. I liked the special effects, but I really loved the ideas and the questions behind them: How will the world end? Will technology destroy us? What does it mean to be human?
“These are subjects sci-fi has never been afraid to tackle. With this series, we are going back to the origins of sci-fi, following the DNA of these ideas back to the source. Without Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, there wouldn’t have been Ray Bradbury or Robert A. Heinlein, and without them, there wouldn’t be [George] Lucas, [Steven] Spielberg, Ridley Scott or me. As a filmmaker who specializes in science fiction, I’m interested in exploring the struggles and the triumphs that brought these incredible stories to life and seeing how art imitates life, as well as how science fiction imitates and sometimes informs science.”
The series is set to premiere on AMC in 2018, which will give both Cameron and the network plenty of time to get a guest list lined up and the short series put together. Thankfully, though, the filmmaker won’t have to go it alone, as it was also reported that Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture – home to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame – will offer consulting services for the upcoming show.
James Cameron’s The Story of Science Fiction is set to premiere on AMC in 2018.