‘Sanctum’ Trailer & Images: James Cameron Takes Us Back Underwater

Published 4 years ago by

Sanctum 3 Sanctum Trailer & Images: James Cameron Takes Us Back Underwater

If you don’t remember Sanctum, it’s the 3D movie set underwater that is being executive produced by James Cameron, and directed by Alister Grierson (Kokoda).  Today we have the Sanctum trailer and new images from the film to share.

The movie is based on events that happened to one of the  film’s co-writers, Andrew Wight, who went deep-sea diving and ended up trapped with a group of other divers  in an underwater cave system.

The film adaptation of that harrowing story is said to focus on  “the unique relationship between father and son, and the fragility of that bond when faced with the onslaught of nature.” You can check out the official Sanctum synopsis and trailer below:


The 3-D action-thriller Sanctum, from executive producer James Cameron, follows a team of underwater cave divers on a treacherous expedition to the largest, most beautiful and least accessible cave system on Earth.  When a tropical storm forces them deep into the caverns, they must fight raging water, deadly terrain and creeping panic as they search for an unknown escape route to the sea.

Master diver Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh) has explored the South Pacific’s Esa-ala Caves for months.  But when his exit is cut off in a flash flood, Frank’s team—including 17-year-old son Josh (Rhys Wakefield) and financier Carl Hurley (Ioan Gruffudd)—are forced to radically alter plans.  With dwindling supplies, the crew must navigate an underwater labyrinth to make it out.  Soon, they are confronted with the unavoidable question: Can they survive, or will they be trapped forever?

Shot on location off the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, Sanctum employs 3-D photography techniques Cameron developed to lens Avatar.  Designed to operate in extreme environments, the technology used to shoot the action-thriller will bring audiences on a breathless journey across plunging cliffs and into the furthest reaches of our subterranean world.


Sanctum Trailer


While Sanctum looks to be an average survival drama story – a la The Perfect Storm – the setting and influence of Cameron’s 3D technology automatically set it apart. A lot of people who saw Neil Marshall’s The Descent know just how well that horror film used caverns to inspire a sense of tension and dread; the whole first hour of that film is practically a lesson in claustrophobia.

Cameron himself has already commented that claustrophobia is one of the themes that made him think Sanctum was perfect for 3D, and after seeing that trailer, the feeling of being trapped in the Earth, while underwater (two of my biggest fears), already has me breaking out in goosebumps.  Compared to the power of that novelty, I’m not so interested in the story or the acting (adequate would be enough).

Check out the gallery of Sanctum images below:

Sanctum stars Richard Roxburgh, Rhys Wakefield, Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four), Alice Parkinson and Dany Wyllie. It was co-written by Andrew Wight and John Garvin, with Wight as doubling as producer.

Source: Universal Pictures and Apple Trailers

TAGS: Sanctum
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  1. Wow, they made a film of the Chilian miners really fast

    • I’m going to let that self-promotional comment stay because it’s relevant. 8)


  2. OMG even Apple’s website is garbage, it’s been “loading” for a few minutes now… must be backed up by people going on their website to find out how to get warranty repair on their iPhone 4′s cracked back glass and/or reception problems, lol. Just gonna youtube it…

  3. Alright, saw the trailer, it did kind of remind me of The Descent, but obviously without monsters. But I can already tell the true events were almost nothing like what they showed in that trailer…

  4. I just watched “The Abyss” Special Edition today and it is SOOOO much better than the theatrical version. The movie made much more sense after watching the extra footage.

    • Yah, didn’t they cut out probably the most important part of the film?? lol

      I don’t know why they chose that part to cut out out of all of the parts…

      • Yeah, it added what, maybe 6 minutes to a film already over 2.5 hours long??

        • Andy considering Cammy cut THE part that explained the reason they were there in the first place, makes me question him as a filmmaker in general. i’ll take heat for that comment im sure but hey who cares right lol.

          • Cameron was receiving a lot of flack for turning it into ‘ET’ at the end, and the original ending (which JC wrote) apparently confused some test audiences (morons?).
            That plus the long running time made the execs force JC to cut the end back – he wasn’t King Of The World back then and execs were already shocked by the running time (different age). Additionally the original ending required completion of heavy SFX scenes which prob wouldn’t have made the release date – remember this was the movie that brought us the first CGI ‘water tentacle’.
            If you read the book version, by Orson Scott Card (based on JC’s original script), there is more at the end, AND at the start. Great book to read – really fills it out.
            Much the same story with extended version of ‘Aliens’.

            • Ever wanted to know where the small alien ‘thing’ was coming from when it crashed the sub at the start of ‘Abyss’? – READ THE BOOK!

            • @zpm

              Aliens and The Abyss were made better from the addition of the deleted scenes, but in the case of Terminator 2 where it was actually Cameron who decided to cut some parts of that movie, watching those deleted scenes in Terminator 2 you realize that the theatrical version that Cameron cut is actually the superior version. Sure it was pretty interesting to see the extra scenes and I’m glad I did, but it did actually take away a bit from the movie.

          • @Anthony

            Yah, considering the fact that the “DIRECTOR’s Cut” was the version that included the footage, I highly doubt it was Cameron’s decision to cut that part out for the theatrical cut.. Just my guess…

  5. wow…the abyss was a good movie, but who could possibly misunderstand the ending? that was one of the most straight forward conclusions i’ve ever seen…
    to quote my film appreciation prof:”movie executives are complete morons”

    • Um, which ending? The one where the big waves are about to destroy all of humanity but they stop, then the aliens surface to reveal themselves all while saving Ed Harris’s character, or the one without any waves where the aliens simply decide out of the blue to reveal themselves to the world by surfacing and saving Ed Harris’s character for no apparent reason??