‘Titanic’, 24 years of the film that made the entire ‘Avatar’ universe possible

When Titanic, by James Cameron, released in 1997 caused a very unusual stir in the cinema. The film, a project long cherished by James Cameron, surprised by its mix of genres and its spectacularity. With an unusually far-reaching take on classic romance and disaster stories, he dazzled audiences and critics alike.

On the one hand, it was a triumph for Cameron in his intention to bring to the screen a film that challenged the skepticism of the studios. On the other, he demonstrated the director’s ability to tell meaningful stories even on stages intended to dazzle the audience. Cameron made it clear even before its premiere: he wanted to show a tragedy from an untraditional point of view. And he did so using state-of-the-art technology and with a very clear awareness of the impact that his proposal would have.

He was not wrong. The story of one of the most tragic nautical events became a pop culture landmark. But also in something else: a new way of understanding commercial cinema. Cameron bet high to a monumental project that could have devastated his career. Also for a film that during its filming faced all kinds of problems and was branded a disaster by early critics. But the lesson of Titanic He made something clear for the filmmaker: his ability to create was above the studio’s fear of failure. A point that Cameron insisted on during the complicated filming of the film.

Through an ocean of trouble with Titanic

Titanic it was a solo project. One of formidable audacity that required Cameron to push himself to the limit to finish. After all, it was a production that seemed doomed. Led by two virtually unknown actors whose filmography spanned independent projects, it was also a mystery. Was it a love story? A disaster one? The press of the time speculated that this time Cameron had gone too far at the time of clarifying his filmic intentions. With a 200 million budget, Titanic it was a movie monster that had to raise an almost impossible amount to be profitable.

The point was a tough one for 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, and Lightstorm Entertainment. Specifically, when filming turned into a logistical nightmare. Disasters include a wrecked set, actors with colds, and even kidney infections from extreme filming. It was rumored that Kate Winslet thought about resigning and that Leonardo Di Caprio confronted Cameron in a rude discussion. Most executives feared that the loss of one of the two actors would mean re-recordings and even a rethinking of the story. Which exponentially inflated costs and could doom the entire project to failure. The fear increased when the confrontations on the set escalated and Cameron himself threatened to leave. “Everything and go your way”.

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‘Titanic’, 24 years of the film that made the entire ‘Avatar’ universe possible

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