On Friday night at 7pm, after most fanboys had already fulfilled their quotient of nerdgasms and geek-freakouts, Peter Jackson and James Cameron appeared together at a panel hosted by Entertainment Weekly entitled "The Visionaries." Rather than just talking about their current projects, however, the two iconic filmmakers offered a sort of State of the Cinematic Union, addressing problems and challenges they face, even as they addressed a few rumors about what their respective futures hold.
The most important of their observations and revelations: • James Cameron is currently in the process of converting Titanic to 3-D. Unfortunately, Jackson has thus far faced opposition from Warner Brothers about doing the same with the Lord of the Rings films, although Cameron suggested that it would be films like those that would grease the wheels for further retrofits and 3-D releases was Jackson lucky enough to get to do it.
• Both filmmakers feel strongly about the need to speed up the frame rate of shooting and projection, which they claim stabilizes and clarifies film images with a minimum of costs for updating current technology. They suggested that 60 frames a second, which is the rate that Cameron has used with the new cameras he pioneered for filming Avatar, is a current ideal.
• Cameron indicated that Battle Angel Alita, a project he circled a few years ago, might be next on his slate after the release of Avatar. But he added, "you don't ask a woman if she wants to have more kids when she's crowning."
• Jackson said that The Lovely Bones trailer will be available on Apple on August 6th, and debut in theaters and elsewhere August 7th.
• Jackson revealed that he is currently at work on a ride for Universal to replace the King Kong attraction that burned down during a backlot fire a few years ago. He said it will feature 3-D, offer a 360 degree view of Skull Island, and put the passengers of Universal's iconic trams in the middle of a fight between Kong and the T-Rexes, complete with spraying goo and dinosaur breath.
• Cameron said that the world of Avatar was the idea that had been lurking for so long, not the characters or even the developing technology. As such, he feels comfortable that if they're lucky enough for the first film to be a success, he could conceivably put together a sequel also set in that world.
• Jackson's work on Tintin is still in early stages but he insists that the films are being made by people who are true Tintin fans. He also said that the design of the film was intended to be as true to creator Herge's original designs as possible but with added textures. Otherwise, he indicated that they might as well just do a live-action version, which neither he nor Steven Spielberg (who is directing the first film) wanted.