Cameron Confesses ‘Titanic’ Wasn’t a Passion Project

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 7th, 2013 at 11:31 am,

Ever wonder where Titanic got the drive to be so unbelievably, terrifyingly successful?  Turns out the highest-grossing film of all time was only looking for acceptance from its distant, enigmatic director, James Cameron – acceptance that never came.  James Cameron shared his thoughts on the doomed ship flick (and apparently everything else) in an interview with Playboy, due out in December.

Cameron went on to say:

“I made Titanic because I wanted to dive to a shipwreck, not because I particularly wanted to make the movie…Titanic was about ‘f*ck you’ money…”

He might mean ‘lots of money.’  Remind me to use that on grandma when she asks how much turkey I want on Thanksgiving.  Speaking of family, Cameron had this to say about his:

“They were pretty much against everything. I can’t think of anything my dad was for except hockey. He used to throw my comics and science-fiction books in the trash because he considered them mental junk…He treated science fiction as if it was porn.”

From hockey grandpa to Cameron to Titanic, will anyone in that line step up and love?  LOVE!!!  Let us remember the big picture the next time Titanic makes another $100MM in a desperate play for attention.

titanic Cameron Confesses Titanic Wasnt a Passion Project

There are a bunch of other good quotes over at Cinematical, and the entire interview will be out in December (as if anyone who buys Playboy will care).  For those who don’t know [sarcasm alert], Cameron helmed the ubiquitously marketed Avatar, due out December 18th.  Other than Titanic and Avatar, he directed Terminator 2: Judgement Day, which I have to imagine was about the second coming.

Want more J. Cameron tidbits?  Here’s what the director had to say about his inspiration:

“My entrée into Hollywood came as a direct result of Star Wars because George Lucas suddenly made science fiction gold instead of a ghettoized B-movie genre. When most people saw Star Wars there was the shock of the new. For me there was the shock of recognition, as if somebody had taken my private dream and put it up on the screen…I took Star Wars as a sign that what I had to offer was something people wanted.”

The art of the interview is tricky one.  Often I’ll click on a link lauding some in-depth conversation with a great artist (the debate over Cameron’s inclusion in that category aside) hoping for some insight into his ideas, methods, etc. and come away disappointed by an article full of fluff or boring personal anecdotes.  To that end – and because Playboy may have done a good job here – which publication in your opinion does the best job with its interviews? And how do you feel about James Cameron’s views on Titanic?

Side Note: Cameron’s words may have broken the heart of our own Vic Holtreman – he loves Titanic just that much… icon wink Cameron Confesses Titanic Wasnt a Passion Project

Source: Cinematical, Playboy

TAGS: Titanic
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  1. I recall Premiere magazine’s interviews (featured/cover stories) were usually fluff. Interview-wise, I liked the old Cinescape magazine. I loved that one.

    Let’s see what Avatar does.


  2. “I made Titanic because I wanted to dive to a shipwreck, not because I particularly wanted to make the movie”

    If it’s possible, I think I respect him even more. As much praise as is languished on that movie, it’s seriously run of the mill. The “epicness” come from the fact that it’s the Titanic and the whole sinking thing, but the love story bit was very old hat. Told very very well, but old hat none-the-less. Avatar seems like it might be the same, but I give it a pass because it’s sci-fi.

  3. I gotta say, but Star Wars is not Science Fiction. It’s entirely fantasy. Cameron needs to get a dictionary. Sci-Fi is taking Science, imagining what could be done, and then creating a world where it has been done. It’s essentially imagining our world as it could be if Science were to go in a certain direction, and examine the repercussions of those decisions.

    Star Wars falls under Fantasy, it is about as much Science Fiction as the Lord of the Rings.

  4. Thanks for someone realizing that Star Wars is not pure sci-fi. It is fantasy and is thus more comparable to LotR than to Star Trek.

    As for his comments on Titanic, I agree that I might respect him more because the movie’s story is very run-of-the mill, and Avatar’s seems that way as well. The graphics and sets may be amazing, but I’m going to have to see how he twists such a cliche message on imperialism and resource stripping. To be honest, I really am not that excited for Avatar.

  5. mmm, Nope Star Wars is Science Fiction. Has Robots, Space Ships and Gadgets that don’t exists but perhaps could. If you find the inclusion of religion in Star Wars as means of redefining it as Fantasy I’d point you to Dune (the Book) and then if you quibble about the Force I’d have to say that any number of Science Fiction stories have people with ESP, TK and all manner of other psychic abilites(CatPaws and Many Coloured Land spring to mind, but I sure there are many otehrs), not that far different than the force if you ask me.

    Now its not exactly Asimov’s brand of Scfi, more Space Opera than hard sf, but its still scifi, Fantasy has Dragons and Wizards ;) Now I won’t disagree that you could rewrite Star Wars as a Fantasy, removing the Space Ships and Robots and dropping in Wizards, Dragons and amusing halflings, and some of the best sci fi can’t.

  6. You know, I’d like to point out, there’s no real hard distinction between sci-fi and fantasy. For years now I’ve been buying Discworld books and until late they’ve almost always been in the Sci-fi section. From the first book until the very latest (20 years and 37 books), the books have included dragons, wizards, witches, dwarves, trolls, gnomes, fairies, swords, and sourcery (and yes, they were all present in the very first book), but somehow spent many years on the sci-fi shelf. Along with Tolkien, Lewis, Gaiman and a whole host of other fantasy writers.

    As far as I can see, Star Wars is simply a blend of them both, fantasy and sci-fi, but I certainly wouldn’t expel it from the genre of sci-fi altogether simply because it doesn’t fit the description of hard sci-fi.

  7. Star Wars isn’t sci-fi? I must have seen a different movie. If you mean the Force making it fantasy, I would say it too is sci-fi. The prequels explained that the Force is just a bunch of particles, and the more of these particles you have, the stronger your ability. If this makes SW fantasy, then Star Trek is also fantasy as it has creatures who can do just as much as the Jedi, and some who would be considered gods.

  8. Star Wars, to me, is more Space Opera. Yes, it is a derivative of Science Fiction, but it is not SciFi in the true, traditional sense. I mean, they don’t hail from Planet Earth or our universe, and different species regularly live side by side, without blinking.

    Science Fiction, for the most part, hails from the idea that a world or setting exists which has evolved from the advancement of Science, leading to certain profound statements about the human condition (for example, RoboCop, among other questions asked, does ask us how much of a person needs to exist in order to be human? What I mean is, with all the machinery and technology within Robocop, his brain is the only part that is organic. Is he therefore still human?). Gattaca looked at the repurcussions of cloning and the idea of perfect kids, then showing the prejudice of those whose parents could not afford to genetically engineer them, and not allowed to advance in the world despite their talents and intelligence.
    Good science fiction should set out to ask those exact questions.

    “Robots, Gadgets and so on” does not count as Sci Fi. James Bond is hardly Sci Fi, nor is Rocky 4, but both have robots and gadgets.

  9. Oh man, do I even want to be here??? No wonder these genre’s get no respect, even the fans can’t get it right… :( :( :(