James Cameron

James Cameron

Overview
James Francis Cameron is a Canadian-American
Canadian-American
A Canadian American is someone who was born or someone who grew up in Canada then moved to the United States. The term is particularly apt when applied or self-applied to people with strong ties to Canada, such as those who have lived a significant portion of their lives in, or were educated in,...

 film director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

, film producer
Film producer
A film producer oversees and delivers a film project to all relevant parties while preserving the integrity, voice and vision of the film. They will also often take on some financial risk by using their own money, especially during the pre-production period, before a film is fully financed.The...

, screenwriter
Screenwriter
Screenwriters or scriptwriters or scenario writers are people who write/create the short or feature-length screenplays from which mass media such as films, television programs, Comics or video games are based.-Profession:...

, editor
Film editing
Film editing is part of the creative post-production process of filmmaking. It involves the selection and combining of shots into sequences, and ultimately creating a finished motion picture. It is an art of storytelling...

, environmentalist
Environmentalist
An environmentalist broadly supports the goals of the environmental movement, "a political and ethical movement that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through changes to environmentally harmful human activities"...

 and inventor
Invention
An invention is a novel composition, device, or process. An invention may be derived from a pre-existing model or idea, or it could be independently conceived, in which case it may be a radical breakthrough. In addition, there is cultural invention, which is an innovative set of useful social...

. His writing and directing work includes Piranha II: The Spawning
Piranha II: The Spawning
Piranha II: The Spawning, also known as Piranha II: Flying Killers, is a 1981 horror film, the sequel to the 1978 low-budget film Piranha, and the feature film directorial debut of James Cameron.-Plot:...

 (1981), The Terminator
The Terminator
The Terminator is a 1984 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron, co-written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr., and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, and Linda Hamilton. The film was produced by Hemdale Film Corporation and distributed by Orion Pictures, and filmed in Los...

 (1984), Aliens
Aliens (film)
Aliens is a 1986 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Bill Paxton...

 (1986), The Abyss
The Abyss
The Abyss is a 1989 science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron. It stars Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn. The original musical score was composed by Alan Silvestri...

 (1989), Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr.. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, and Edward Furlong...

 (1991), True Lies
True Lies
True Lies is a 1994 American action-comedy film directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Tia Carrere, Charlton Heston, and Art Malik. Eliza Dushku also appears in the film in one of her first major film roles...

 (1994), Titanic
Titanic (1997 film)
Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater and Billy Zane as Rose's fiancé, Cal...

 (1997), and Dark Angel
Dark Angel (TV series)
Dark Angel is an American biopunk/cyberpunk science fiction television series created by James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee. The show premiered in the United States on the Fox network on October 3, 2000, and was canceled after two seasons...

 (2000–2002). In the time between making Titanic and his return to feature films with Avatar (2009), Cameron spent several years creating many documentary films (specifically underwater documentaries), and also co-developed the digital 3D Fusion Camera System.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'James Cameron'
Start a new discussion about 'James Cameron'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia
James Francis Cameron is a Canadian-American
Canadian-American
A Canadian American is someone who was born or someone who grew up in Canada then moved to the United States. The term is particularly apt when applied or self-applied to people with strong ties to Canada, such as those who have lived a significant portion of their lives in, or were educated in,...

 film director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

, film producer
Film producer
A film producer oversees and delivers a film project to all relevant parties while preserving the integrity, voice and vision of the film. They will also often take on some financial risk by using their own money, especially during the pre-production period, before a film is fully financed.The...

, screenwriter
Screenwriter
Screenwriters or scriptwriters or scenario writers are people who write/create the short or feature-length screenplays from which mass media such as films, television programs, Comics or video games are based.-Profession:...

, editor
Film editing
Film editing is part of the creative post-production process of filmmaking. It involves the selection and combining of shots into sequences, and ultimately creating a finished motion picture. It is an art of storytelling...

, environmentalist
Environmentalist
An environmentalist broadly supports the goals of the environmental movement, "a political and ethical movement that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through changes to environmentally harmful human activities"...

 and inventor
Invention
An invention is a novel composition, device, or process. An invention may be derived from a pre-existing model or idea, or it could be independently conceived, in which case it may be a radical breakthrough. In addition, there is cultural invention, which is an innovative set of useful social...

. His writing and directing work includes Piranha II: The Spawning
Piranha II: The Spawning
Piranha II: The Spawning, also known as Piranha II: Flying Killers, is a 1981 horror film, the sequel to the 1978 low-budget film Piranha, and the feature film directorial debut of James Cameron.-Plot:...

 (1981), The Terminator
The Terminator
The Terminator is a 1984 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron, co-written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr., and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, and Linda Hamilton. The film was produced by Hemdale Film Corporation and distributed by Orion Pictures, and filmed in Los...

 (1984), Aliens
Aliens (film)
Aliens is a 1986 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Bill Paxton...

 (1986), The Abyss
The Abyss
The Abyss is a 1989 science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron. It stars Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn. The original musical score was composed by Alan Silvestri...

 (1989), Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr.. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, and Edward Furlong...

 (1991), True Lies
True Lies
True Lies is a 1994 American action-comedy film directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Tia Carrere, Charlton Heston, and Art Malik. Eliza Dushku also appears in the film in one of her first major film roles...

 (1994), Titanic
Titanic (1997 film)
Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater and Billy Zane as Rose's fiancé, Cal...

 (1997), and Dark Angel
Dark Angel (TV series)
Dark Angel is an American biopunk/cyberpunk science fiction television series created by James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee. The show premiered in the United States on the Fox network on October 3, 2000, and was canceled after two seasons...

 (2000–2002). In the time between making Titanic and his return to feature films with Avatar (2009), Cameron spent several years creating many documentary films (specifically underwater documentaries), and also co-developed the digital 3D Fusion Camera System. Described by a biographer as part-scientist and part-artist, Cameron has also contributed to underwater filming
Underwater videography
Underwater videography is a video production, the branch of underwater photography concerned with capturing underwater moving images either as a recreational diving or commercial documentary, or filmmaking activity.-Limitations:...

 and remote vehicle technologies.

He has been nominated for six Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 overall, and received half of them, three Oscars for Titanic. In total, Cameron's directorial efforts have grossed approximately US$2 billion in North America and US$6 billion worldwide. Without adjusting for inflation, Cameron's Titanic and Avatar are the two highest-grossing films of all time at $1.8 billion and $2.7 billion respectively. In March 2011 he was named Hollywood's top earner by Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair (magazine)
Vanity Fair is a magazine of pop culture, fashion, and current affairs published by Condé Nast. The present Vanity Fair has been published since 1983 and there have been editions for four European countries as well as the U.S. edition. This revived the title which had ceased publication in 1935...

, with estimated 2010 earnings of $257 million.

Background


Cameron was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, 1954 the son of Becky (Lowe), an artist and nurse, and Phillip Cameron, an electrical engineer. His paternal great-great-great-grandfather emigrated from Balquhidder
Balquhidder
Balquhidder is a small village in the Stirling council area of Scotland. It is overlooked by the dramatic mountain terrain of the Braes of Balquhidder, at the head of Loch Voil. Balquhidder Glen is also popular for fishing, nature watching and walking...

, Scotland in 1825; thus, he descends from Clan Cameron
Clan Cameron
Clan Cameron is a West Highland Scottish clan, with one main branch Lochiel, and numerous cadet branches. The Clan Cameron lands are in Lochaber and within their lands is the mountain Ben Nevis which is the highest mountain in the British Isles. The chief of the clan is customarily referred to as...

.

Cameron grew up in Chippawa, Ontario
Chippawa, Ontario
Chippawa is a community located within the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario.The village was founded in 1850, and became part of the City of Niagara Falls, Ontario by amalgamation in 1970. It is located on the Canadian shore of the Niagara River about 2 km upstream from Niagara Falls. It is...

 with his brother Davie Cameron and attended Stamford Collegiate School in Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Niagara Falls is a Canadian city on the Niagara River in the Golden Horseshoe region of Southern Ontario. The municipality was incorporated on June 12, 1903...

; his family moved to Brea, California
Brea, California
Brea is a city in Orange County, California. The population, as of the 2010 Census was 39,282.The city began as a center of crude oil production, was later propelled by citrus production, and is now an important retail center because of the large Brea Mall and the recently redeveloped Brea Downtown...

 in 1971 when he was 17. Cameron enrolled at Fullerton College
Fullerton College
Fullerton College is the oldest community college in continuous operation in California, having been established in 1913. Current enrollment is 22,014.- History 1913 to 1972 :...

, a 2-year community college, in 1973 to study physics. He switched to English, then dropped out before the start of the fall 1974 semester.

After dropping out of Sonora High School
Sonora High School
Sonora High School is a public high school located at 401 S. Palm Street in La Habra, north Orange County, California. One of seven high schools in the Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Sonora served over 2,100 students in the 2009-2010 school year...

, he went to further his secondary education at Brea Olinda High School
Brea Olinda High School
Brea Olinda High School is a 9th–12th grade public high school located in Brea, California. Established in 1927, the school was originally located across the street from the Brea Mall in what has become the Brea Marketplace. In 1989, the school moved to its current location on the north end...

. After graduating, he worked several jobs such as truck driving and wrote when he had time. During this period he taught himself about special effects: "I'd go down to the USC library and pull any thesis that graduate students had written about optical printing, or front screen projection, or dye transfers, anything that related to film technology. That way I could sit down and read it, and if they'd let me photocopy it, I would. If not, I'd make notes."

After seeing the original Star Wars
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, originally released as Star Wars, is a 1977 American epic space opera film, written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first of six films released in the Star Wars saga: two subsequent films complete the original trilogy, while a prequel trilogy completes the...

 film in 1977, Cameron quit his job as a truck driver to enter the film industry. When Cameron read Syd Field
Syd Field
Syd Field is an American writer who has become one of the most popular screenwriting gurus in the movie industry. Field has written several books on the subject of screenwriting, and holds workshops and seminars around the world that help aspiring and professional screenwriters produce the kind of...

's book Screenplay, it occurred to him that integrating science and art was possible, and he wrote a ten-minute science fiction script with two friends, entitled Xenogenesis. They raised money and rented camera, lenses, film stock, and studio, and shot it in 35mm. To understand how to operate the camera, they dismantled it and spent the first half-day of the shoot trying to figure out how to get it running.

Early career


While continuing to educate himself in film-making techniques, Cameron started working as a miniature-model maker at Roger Corman
Roger Corman
Roger William Corman is an American film producer, director and actor. He has mostly worked on low-budget B movies. Some of Corman's work has an established critical reputation, such as his cycle of films adapted from the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, and in 2009 he won an Honorary Academy Award for...

 Studios. Making rapidly produced, low-budget productions taught Cameron to work efficiently and effectively. He soon found employment as an art director in the sci-fi movie Battle Beyond the Stars
Battle Beyond the Stars
Battle Beyond the Stars is a Roger Corman-produced science fiction film, directed by Jimmy T. Murakami and released in 1980. The film, intended as a "Magnificent Seven in outer space," is a pastiche of The Magnificent Seven, the Western remake of Akira Kurosawa's film Seven Samurai...

 (1980). He did special effects work design and direction on John Carpenter's Escape from New York
Escape from New York
Escape from New York is a 1981 American science fiction action film directed and scored by John Carpenter. He co-wrote the screenplay with Nick Castle. The film is set in the near future in a crime-ridden United States that has converted Manhattan Island in New York City into a maximum security...

 (1981), acted as production designer on Galaxy of Terror
Galaxy of Terror
Galaxy of Terror is a 1981 science fiction/horror film produced by Roger Corman and directed by Bruce D. Clark. It stars Edward Albert, Erin Moran, Robert Englund, Ray Walston, Zalman King, Grace Zabriskie and Sid Haig...

 (1981), and consulted on the design of Android
Android (film)
Android is a 1982 science fiction film directed by Aaron Lipstadt and starring Klaus Kinski. The film follows the story of a scientist and his assistant who are working on an illegal android program from their lab on a space station in orbit of the Earth....

 (1982).

Cameron was hired as the special effects director for the sequel of Piranha, entitled Piranha II: The Spawning
Piranha II: The Spawning
Piranha II: The Spawning, also known as Piranha II: Flying Killers, is a 1981 horror film, the sequel to the 1978 low-budget film Piranha, and the feature film directorial debut of James Cameron.-Plot:...

 in 1981. The director left the project and Cameron was hired by Italian producer Assonitis to take over, giving him his first directorial job. He worked with producer Roger Corman
Roger Corman
Roger William Corman is an American film producer, director and actor. He has mostly worked on low-budget B movies. Some of Corman's work has an established critical reputation, such as his cycle of films adapted from the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, and in 2009 he won an Honorary Academy Award for...

. The interior scenes were filmed in Italy
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 while the underwater diving sequences were shot at Grand Cayman Island.

The movie was to be produced in Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

, but when Cameron arrived at the studio, he discovered that the project was under-financed and that his crew was mainly composed of Italians who spoke no English. Experiencing considerable stress, Cameron had a nightmare about an invincible robot hitman sent from the future to kill him, giving him the idea for The Terminator, which would later catapult his filming career.

The Terminator (1984)



After completing a screenplay for The Terminator
The Terminator
The Terminator is a 1984 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron, co-written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr., and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, and Linda Hamilton. The film was produced by Hemdale Film Corporation and distributed by Orion Pictures, and filmed in Los...

, Cameron decided to sell it so that he could direct the movie. However, the production companies he contacted, while expressing interest in the project, were unwilling to let a first-time feature film director make the movie. Finally, Cameron found a company called Hemdale Pictures
Hemdale Film Corporation
Hemdale Film Corporation, known as Hemdale Communications after 1993, was an independent film production company and distributor founded in London in 1967 as the Hemdale Company by actor David Hemmings and his manager, John Daly. Hemdale was initially founded as a talent agency that helped launch...

, which was willing to let him direct. Gale Anne Hurd
Gale Anne Hurd
Gale Anne Hurd is an American film producer and screenwriter.-Early life:Hurd was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Lolita and Frank E. Hurd, an investor. She grew up in Palm Springs, California and graduated from Stanford University with a B.A...

, who had started her own production company, Pacific Western Productions, had previously worked with Cameron in Roger Corman's company and agreed to buy Cameron's screenplay for one dollar, on the condition that Cameron direct the film. Hurd was signed on as producer, and Cameron finally got his first break as director. Orion Pictures
Orion Pictures
Orion Pictures Corporation was an American independent production company that produced movies from 1978 until 1998. It was formed in 1978 as a joint venture between Warner Bros. and three former top-level executives of United Artists. Although it was never a large motion picture producer, Orion...

 distributed the film.
Initially, for the role of the Terminator, Cameron wanted someone who wasn't exceptionally muscular, and who could "blend into" a normal crowd. Lance Henriksen
Lance Henriksen
Lance James Henriksen is an American actor and artist best known to film and television audiences for his roles in science fiction, action, and horror films such as the Alien film franchise, and on television shows such as Millennium....

, who had starred in Piranha II: The Spawning, was considered for the title role, but when Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011....

 and Cameron first met over lunch to discuss Schwarzenegger playing the role of Kyle Reese
Kyle Reese
Kyle Reese is the primary character in the first Terminator film, the posthumous father of John Connor, and the love of Sarah Connor. He is played by Michael Biehn in the first Terminator films, Jonathan Jackson in the television series, and played as a teenager by Anton Yelchin in Terminator...

, both came to the conclusion that the cyborg
Cyborg
A cyborg is a being with both biological and artificial parts. The term was coined in 1960 when Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline used it in an article about the advantages of self-regulating human-machine systems in outer space. D. S...

 villain would be the more compelling role for the Austrian
Austrians
Austrians are a nation and ethnic group, consisting of the population of the Republic of Austria and its historical predecessor states who share a common Austrian culture and Austrian descent....

 bodybuilder; Henriksen got the smaller part of LAPD
Los Angeles Police Department
The Los Angeles Police Department is the police department of the city of Los Angeles, California. With just under 10,000 officers and more than 3,000 civilian staff, covering an area of with a population of more than 4.1 million people, it is the third largest local law enforcement agency in...

 detective Hal Vukovich and the role of Kyle Reese
Kyle Reese
Kyle Reese is the primary character in the first Terminator film, the posthumous father of John Connor, and the love of Sarah Connor. He is played by Michael Biehn in the first Terminator films, Jonathan Jackson in the television series, and played as a teenager by Anton Yelchin in Terminator...

 went to Michael Biehn
Michael Biehn
Michael Connell Biehn is an American actor. He is best known for his roles in James Cameron's science fiction action films The Terminator as Kyle Reese, Aliens as Cpl. Dwayne Hicks, and The Abyss as Lt. Coffey. He has also acted in such films as Tombstone, The Rock, and Planet Terror...

. In addition, Linda Hamilton
Linda Hamilton
Linda Carroll Hamilton is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Sarah Connor in The Terminator and its sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Catherine Chandler in the television series Beauty and the Beast, for which she was nominated for two Golden Globes and an Emmy...

 first appeared in this film in her iconic role of Sarah Connor, and later married Cameron.

The Terminator was a box office hit, breaking expectations by Orion Pictures executives that the film would be regarded as no more than a sci-fi film, and only last a week in theaters. It was a low-budget film which cost $6.5 million to make, cutting expenses in such ways as recording the audio track in mono. However, The Terminator eventually earned over $78 million worldwide.

Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)


During the early 1980s, Cameron wrote three screenplays simultaneously: The Terminator, Aliens
Aliens (film)
Aliens is a 1986 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Bill Paxton...

, and the first draft of Rambo: First Blood Part II
Rambo: First Blood Part II
Rambo: First Blood Part II is a 1985 action film. A sequel to 1982's First Blood, it is the second installment in the Rambo series starring Sylvester Stallone, who reprises his role as Vietnam veteran John Rambo...

. While Cameron continued with The Terminator and Aliens, Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone
Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone , commonly known as Sylvester Stallone, and nicknamed Sly Stallone, is an American actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, film director and occasional painter. Stallone is known for his machismo and Hollywood action roles. Two of the notable characters he has portrayed...

 eventually took over the script of Rambo: First Blood Part II
Rambo: First Blood Part II
Rambo: First Blood Part II is a 1985 action film. A sequel to 1982's First Blood, it is the second installment in the Rambo series starring Sylvester Stallone, who reprises his role as Vietnam veteran John Rambo...

, creating a final draft which differed radically from Cameron's initial version.

Aliens (1986)




Cameron next began the sequel to Alien
Alien (film)
Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a highly aggressive extraterrestrial creature which...

, the 1979 film by Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott
Sir Ridley Scott is an English film director and producer. His most famous films include The Duellists , Alien , Blade Runner , Legend , Thelma & Louise , G. I...

. Cameron named the sequel Aliens, and again cast Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver is an American actress. She is best known for her critically acclaimed role of Ellen Ripley in the four Alien films: Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection, for which she has received worldwide recognition .Other notable roles include Dana...

 in the iconic role of Ellen Ripley
Ellen Ripley
Ellen Ripley is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the Alien film series played by American actress Sigourney Weaver. The character was heralded as a seminal role for challenging gender roles, particularly in the science fiction genre, and remains Weaver's most famous role to...

. According to Cameron, the crew on Aliens was hostile to him, regarding him as a poor substitute for Ridley Scott. Cameron sought to show them The Terminator but the majority of the crew refused to watch it and remained skeptical of his direction throughout production. Despite this and other off-screen problems (such as clashing with an uncooperative camera man and having to replace one of the lead actors – Michael Biehn
Michael Biehn
Michael Connell Biehn is an American actor. He is best known for his roles in James Cameron's science fiction action films The Terminator as Kyle Reese, Aliens as Cpl. Dwayne Hicks, and The Abyss as Lt. Coffey. He has also acted in such films as Tombstone, The Rock, and Planet Terror...

 of Terminator took James Remar
James Remar
James Remar is an American actor and voice artist. He has appeared in movies, video games, and TV shows. He is perhaps best known as Richard, the on-off tycoon boyfriend of Kim Cattrall's character in Sex and the City, as Ajax in The Warriors, as the homicidal maniac Albert Ganz in the 1982...

's place as Corporal Hicks), Aliens became a box office success, and received Academy Award nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Weaver, Best Art Direction, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound, and won awards for Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Visual Effects. In addition, the film and its lead actress made the cover of TIME magazine as a result of its numerous and extensive scenes of women in combat - these were almost without precedent and expressed the feminist theme of the film very strongly.

The Abyss (1989)


Cameron's next project stemmed from an idea that had come up during a high school biology class. The story of oil-rig workers who discover otherworldly underwater creatures became the basis of Cameron's screenplay for The Abyss
The Abyss
The Abyss is a 1989 science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron. It stars Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn. The original musical score was composed by Alan Silvestri...

, which cast Ed Harris
Ed Harris
Edward Allen "Ed" Harris is an American actor, writer, and director, known for his performances in Appaloosa, Radio, The Rock, The Abyss, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, A History of Violence, and The Truman Show. Harris has also narrated commercials for The Home Depot and other companies...

, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is an American actress and singer known for her role as Carmen in The Color of Money, as well as for her roles as Lindsey Brigman in The Abyss, Gina Montana in Scarface, and Maid Marian in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.-Personal life:Mastrantonio was born in Lombard,...

 and Michael Biehn
Michael Biehn
Michael Connell Biehn is an American actor. He is best known for his roles in James Cameron's science fiction action films The Terminator as Kyle Reese, Aliens as Cpl. Dwayne Hicks, and The Abyss as Lt. Coffey. He has also acted in such films as Tombstone, The Rock, and Planet Terror...

. Initially budgeted at $41 million U.S. (though the production ran considerably over budget), it was considered to be one of the most expensive films of its time, and required cutting-edge effects technology. Because much of the film takes place underwater and the technology wasn't advanced enough to digitally create an underwater environment, Cameron chose to shoot much of the movie "reel-for-real", at depths of up to 40 feet (12.2 m). For creation of the sets, the containment building of an unfinished nuclear power plant was converted, and two huge tanks were used. The main tank was filled with 7500000 gallons (28,390,590 l) of water, and the second with 2500000 gallons (9,463,530 l). The cast and crew resided there for much of the shooting.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)


After the success of The Terminator, there had always been talks about a sequel to continue the story of Sarah Connor and her struggle against machines from the future. Although Cameron had come up with a core idea for the sequel, and Schwarzenegger expressed interest in continuing the story, there were still problems regarding who had the rights to the story, as well as the logistics of the special effects needed to make the sequel. Finally, in late-1980s, Mario Kassar
Mario Kassar
Mario F. Kassar is a film producer and industry executive whose projects are frequently in association with Andrew G. Vajna.Kassar was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Working for Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures, he was executive producer of several movies starting with Victory in 1981...

 of Carolco Pictures
Carolco Pictures
Carolco Pictures, Inc., Carolco International N.V., or Anabasis Investments was an American independent film production company that, within a decade, went from producing such blockbuster successes as Terminator 2: Judgment Day and the first three movies of the Rambo series to being bankrupted by...

 secured the rights to the sequel, allowing Cameron to greenlight production of the film, now called Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr.. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, and Edward Furlong...

.

For the film, Linda Hamilton reprised her iconic role of Sarah Connor. In addition, Schwarzenegger also returned in his role as The Terminator, but this time as a protector. Unlike the T-800, who is made of a metal endoskeleton, the new villain of the sequel, called the T-1000
T-1000
The T-1000 is a fictional nanomorph mimetic poly-alloy assassin and the main antagonist in Terminator 2: Judgment Day controlled by the series main antagonist Skynet. The T-1000 is portrayed primarily by Robert Patrick; however, being a shape-shifter, the T-1000 is played by other actors in some...

, was a more advanced Terminator made of liquid metal, and with polymorphic abilities. The T-1000 would also be much less bulky than the T-800. For the role, Cameron cast Robert Patrick
Robert Patrick
Robert Hammond Patrick, Jr. is an American actor, known for his leading and supporting roles in a number of films and television shows....

, a sharp contrast to Schwarzenegger. Cameron explained, "I wanted someone who was extremely fast and agile. If the T-800 is a human Panzer tank, then the T-1000 is a Porsche
Porsche
Porsche Automobil Holding SE, usually shortened to Porsche SE a Societas Europaea or European Public Company, is a German based holding company with investments in the automotive industry....

."

Cameron had originally wanted to incorporate this advanced-model Terminator into the first film, but the special effects at the time were not advanced enough. The ground-breaking effects used in The Abyss to digitally depict the water tentacle convinced Cameron that his liquid metal villain was now possible.

TriStar Pictures
TriStar Pictures
TriStar Pictures, Inc. is an American film production/distribution studio and subsidiary of Columbia Pictures, itself a subdivision of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, which is owned by Sony Pictures...

 agreed to distribute the film, but under a locked release date only about one year after the start of shooting. The movie, co-written by Cameron and his longtime friend, William Wisher, Jr., had to go from screenplay to finished film in just that amount of time. Like Cameron's previous film, it was one of the most expensive films of its era, with a budget of about $100 million. The biggest challenge of the movie was the special effects used in creating the T-1000. Nevertheless, the film was finished on time, and released to theaters on July 3, 1991.

Terminator 2, or T2, as it was abbreviated, broke box-office records (including the opening weekend record for an R-rated film), earning over $200 million in the United States and Canada, and over $300 million in other territories, and became the highest-grossing film of that year. It won four Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

: Best Makeup, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, and Best Visual Effects. It was also nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing, but lost both Awards to JFK
JFK (film)
JFK is a 1991 American film directed by Oliver Stone. It examines the events leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and alleged subsequent cover-up, through the eyes of former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison .Garrison filed charges against New Orleans businessman Clay...

.

James Cameron announced a third Terminator film many times during the 1990s, but without coming out with any finished scripts. Kassar and Vajna purchased the rights to the Terminator franchise from a bankruptcy sale of Carolco's assets. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, commonly abbreviated as T3, is a 2003 science fiction action film directed by Jonathan Mostow and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes and Kristanna Loken...

 was eventually made and released in July 2003 without Cameron's involvement. Jonathan Mostow
Jonathan Mostow
Jonathan Mostow is an American film director, writer and producer.-Biography:A graduate of Hopkins School in New Haven, Connecticut and Harvard, Mostow also trained at the American Repertory Company and New York City's Lee Strasberg Institute...

 directed the film and Schwarzenegger returned as the Terminator.

Cameron reunited with the main cast of Terminator 2 to film T2 3-D: Battle Across Time
T2 3-D: Battle Across Time
T2 3-D: Battle Across Time is an attraction at various Universal Studios parks around the world including those at Florida, Hollywood and Japan...

, an attraction at Universal Studios Florida, Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan. It was released in 1996 and was a mini-sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The show is in two parts: a prequel segment in which a spokesperson talks about Cyberdyne, and a main feature, in which the performers interact with a 3-D movie.

True Lies (1994)


Before the release of T2, Schwarzenegger came to Cameron with the idea of making a remake of the French comedy La Totale!
La Totale!
-Plot:Everyone thinks that François Voisin is a model executive with a calm and orderly life, but it is only a front. In reality, François is a secret agent, one of the best: in the game he is nicknamed l'Épée, "the Sword". But even as he infiltrates arms-smuggling rings and prevents terrorist...

 Titled True Lies
True Lies
True Lies is a 1994 American action-comedy film directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Tia Carrere, Charlton Heston, and Art Malik. Eliza Dushku also appears in the film in one of her first major film roles...

, with filming beginning after T2s release, the story revolves around a secret-agent spy who leads a double life as a married man, whose wife believes he is a computer salesman. Schwarzenegger was cast as Harry Tasker, a spy charged with stopping a plan by a terrorist to use nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

s against the United States. Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis is an American actress and author. Although she was initially known as a "scream queen" because of her starring roles in several horror films early in her career, such as Halloween, The Fog, Prom Night and Terror Train, Curtis has since compiled a body of work that spans many...

 and Eliza Dushku
Eliza Dushku
Eliza Patricia Dushku is an American actress known for her television roles, including recurring appearances as Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff series Angel. She starred in two Fox series, Tru Calling and Dollhouse...

 played the character's family, and Tom Arnold
Tom Arnold (actor)
Thomas Dwaine "Tom" Arnold is an American actor and comedian. He has appeared in many films, perhaps most notably True Lies . He was the host of The Best Damn Sports Show Period for four years.-Early life:...

 the sidekick.

Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment signed on with Twentieth Century Fox for production of True Lies. Made on a budget of $115 million and released in 1994, the film earned $146 million in North America, and $232 million abroad. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.

Titanic (1997)


Cameron expressed interest in the famous sinking of the ship . He decided to script and film his next project based on this event. The picture revolved around a fictional romance story between two young lovers from different social classes who meet on board. Before production began, he took dives to the bottom of the Atlantic and shot actual footage of the ship underwater, which he inserted into the final film. Much of the film's dialogue was also written during these dives.

Subsequently, Cameron cast Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio is an American actor and film producer. He has received many awards, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Aviator , and has been nominated by the Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television...

, Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet
Kate Elizabeth Winslet is an English actress and occasional singer. She has received multiple awards and nominations. She was the youngest person to accrue six Academy Award nominations, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Reader...

, Billy Zane
Billy Zane
William George "Billy" Zane, Jr. is an American actor, producer and director. He is probably best known for his roles as Caledon Hockley in Titanic, The Phantom from The Phantom, John Wheeler in Twin Peaks and Mr...

, Kathy Bates
Kathy Bates
Kathleen Doyle "Kathy" Bates is an American actress and director.After several small roles in film and television, Bates rose to prominence with her performance in Misery , for which she won both the Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe...

, Frances Fisher
Frances Fisher
Frances Fisher is a British actress. She is known for her work on television, in theater and in films, including roles as Strawberry Alice, the madame prostitute in Unforgiven , and Ruth DeWitt Bukater, the mother of Kate Winslet's character in Titanic .- Early life and education :Fisher was born...

, Gloria Stuart
Gloria Stuart
Gloria Frances Stuart was an American actress, activist, painter, bonsai artist and fine printer. Over a Hollywood career which spanned, with a long break in the middle, from 1932 until 2004, she appeared on stage, television, and film, for which she was best-known...

, Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill is a British actor of film, stage and television. In a career spanning thirty years, he is best known for playing Yosser Hughes, the troubled 'hard man' whose life is falling apart in Alan Bleasdale's groundbreaking 1980s TV drama, Boys from the Blackstuff...

, Jonathan Hyde
Jonathan Hyde
Jonathan Hyde is an Australian-born English actor, well known for his roles as J. Bruce Ismay, the managing director of the White Star Line in Titanic, Egyptologist Allen Chamberlain in The Mummy and Sam Parrish/Van Pelt, the hunter in Jumanji. He is married to the Scottish soprano Isobel Buchanan...

, Victor Garber
Victor Garber
Victor Joseph Garber is a Canadian film, stage and television actor and singer. Garber is known for playing Jesus in Godspell, Jack Bristow in the television series Alias, Max in Lend Me a Tenor, and Thomas Andrews in James Cameron's Titanic.-Early life:Born in London, Ontario, Canada, Garber is...

, Danny Nucci, David Warner
David Warner (actor)
David Warner is an English actor who is known for playing both romantic leads and sinister or villainous characters, both in film and animation...

, Suzy Amis
Suzy Amis
Susan Elizabeth "Suzy" Amis is an American former film actress and former model.-Career:Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Amis first worked as a Ford model before she began acting in the 1980s. She made her feature film debut in the 1985 comedy film Fandango, opposite Kevin Costner...

 and Bill Paxton
Bill Paxton
William "Bill" Paxton is an American actor and film director. He gained popularity after starring roles in the films Apollo 13, Twister, Aliens, True Lies, and Titanic...

 as the films' principal cast. Cameron's budget for the film reached about $200 million, making it the most expensive movie ever made at the time. Before its release, the film was widely ridiculed for its expense and protracted production schedule.

Released to theaters on December 19, 1997, Titanic grossed less in its first weekend ($28.6 million) than in its second, ($35.4 million), an increase of 23.8%. This is unheard of for a widely released film, which is a testament to the movie's appeal. This was especially noteworthy, considering that the film's running time of more than three hours limited the number of showings each theater could schedule. It held the No. 1 spot on the box-office charts for months, eventually grossing a total of over $600 million in the United States and Canada and more than $1.8 billion worldwide. Titanic became the highest-grossing film ever made, until Cameron's 2009 film Avatar. The CG visuals surrounding the sinking and destruction of the ship were considered spectacular. Despite criticism during production of the film, it received a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations (tied with All About Eve
All About Eve
All About Eve is a 1950 American drama film written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, based on the 1946 short story "The Wisdom of Eve", by Mary Orr.The film stars Bette Davis as Margo Channing, a highly regarded but aging Broadway star...

) at the 1998 Academy Awards
70th Academy Awards
The 70th Academy Awards were noted for their high ratings and the 11 wins obtained by the Best Picture Titanic. Billy Crystal hosted the ceremony for the sixth time, and received an Emmy award for his performance....

. It won 11 Oscars (also record-tying with Ben-Hur
Ben-Hur (1959 film)
Ben-Hur is a 1959 American epic film directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston in the title role, the third film adaptation of Lew Wallace's 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The screenplay was written by Karl Tunberg, Gore Vidal, and Christopher Fry. The score was composed by...

 and later The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy-drama film directed by Peter Jackson that is based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings...

), including Best Picture, Editing, Sound, Special Effects, Music and Score, and the Best Director award for Cameron. Upon receiving the award, Cameron exclaimed, "I'm king of the world!", in reference to one of the main characters' lines from the film. In March 2010, Cameron revealed that Titanic will be re-released in 3D in April 2012, in order to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the actual ship.

Spider-Man and Dark Angel (2000–2002)


Cameron had initially next planned to do a film of the comic book character Spider-Man
Spider-Man
Spider-Man is a fictional Marvel Comics superhero. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko. He first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15...

, a project developed by Menahem Golan
Menahem Golan
Menahem Golan is an Israeli director and producer. He has produced movies for such stars as Sean Connery, Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Charles Bronson, and was known for a period as a producer of comic book-style movies like Masters of the Universe, Superman IV:...

 of Cannon Films. Columbia hired David Koepp
David Koepp
-Career:As a writer, Koepp has worked on such blockbuster Hollywood films as Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible, and Spider-Man. Koepp had a cameo as the "Unlucky Bastard" in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, in which he was serving as Writer and Second Unit Director.His work as a director has not had...

 to adapt Cameron's treatment into a screenplay, and Koepp's first draft is taken often word-for-word from Cameron's story, though later drafts were heavily rewritten by Koepp himself, Scott Rosenberg, and Alvin Sargent
Alvin Sargent
Alvin Sargent is an American screenwriter. He has won two Academy Awards for his screenplays and has been involved in the writing of all movies to date in the Spider-Man film series.-Life and career:...

. Columbia preferred to credit David Koepp solely, and none of the scripts before or after his were ever examined by the Writers Guild of America, East
Writers Guild of America, East
Writers Guild of America, East is a labor union representing writers of television and film and employees of television and radio news. The 2006 membership of the guild was 3,770....

 to determine proper credit attribution. Cameron and other writers objected, but Columbia and the WGA prevailed. In its release in 2002, Spider-Man
Spider-Man (film)
Spider-Man is a 2002 American superhero film, the first in the Spider-Man film series based on the fictional Marvel Comics character Spider-Man. It was directed by Sam Raimi and written by David Koepp...

 had its screenplay credited solely to Koepp.

Unable to make Spider-Man, Cameron moved to television and created Dark Angel
Dark Angel (TV series)
Dark Angel is an American biopunk/cyberpunk science fiction television series created by James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee. The show premiered in the United States on the Fox network on October 3, 2000, and was canceled after two seasons...

, a superheroine-centered series influenced by cyberpunk
Cyberpunk
Cyberpunk is a postmodern and science fiction genre noted for its focus on "high tech and low life." The name is a portmanteau of cybernetics and punk, and was originally coined by Bruce Bethke as the title of his short story "Cyberpunk," published in 1983...

, biopunk
Biopunk
Biopunk is a term used to describe:# A hobbyist who experiments with DNA and other aspects of genetics.# A technoprogressive movement advocating open access to genetic information....

, contemporary superhero franchises, and third-wave feminism
Third-wave feminism
Third-wave feminism is a term identified with several diverse strains of feminist activity and study whose exact boundaries in the historiography of feminism are a subject of debate, but often marked as beginning in the 1980s and continuing to the present...

. Co-produced with Charles H. Eglee
Charles H. Eglee
Charles H. Eglee is an Emmy Award winning American film and television writer and producer. He worked extensively for Steven Bochco productions throughout the 1990s. For Bochco productions he co-created Byrds of Paradise with frequent collaborator Channing Gibson and co-created Murder One with...

, Dark Angel starred Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba
Jessica Marie Alba is an American television and film actress. She began her television and movie appearances at age 13 in Camp Nowhere and The Secret World of Alex Mack . Alba rose to prominence as the lead actress in the television series Dark Angel...

 as Max Guevara
Max Guevara
Max Guevara is a fictional television character and protagonist in the cyberpunk science fiction television program Dark Angel. She is portrayed by Jessica Alba as an adult and Geneva Locke as a child...

, a genetically enhanced
Genetic engineering
Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification, is the direct human manipulation of an organism's genome using modern DNA technology. It involves the introduction of foreign DNA or synthetic genes into the organism of interest...

 transgenic super-soldier created by a secretive organization. Cameron's work was said to "bring empowered female warriors back to television screens[...] by mixing the sober feminism of his The Terminator
The Terminator
The Terminator is a 1984 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron, co-written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr., and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, and Linda Hamilton. The film was produced by Hemdale Film Corporation and distributed by Orion Pictures, and filmed in Los...

 and Aliens
Aliens (film)
Aliens is a 1986 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Bill Paxton...

 characters with the sexed-up Girl Power of a Britney Spears
Britney Spears
Britney Jean Spears is an American recording artist and entertainer. Born in McComb, Mississippi, and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana, Spears began performing as a child, landing acting roles in stage productions and television shows. She signed with Jive Records in 1997 and released her debut album...

 concert." While a success in its first season, low ratings in the second led to its cancellation. Cameron himself directed the series finale, a two-hour episode wrapping up many of the series' loose ends.

Documentaries (2002–2009)


In 1998 James and John David Cameron
John David Cameron
-Career:The younger brother of filmmaker James Cameron. John served with distinction in the USMC and received an honourable discharge after six years with the rank of sergeant...

 formed a digital media company, earthship.tv which became Earthship Productions. The company produced live multimedia documentaries from the depths of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. With Earthship Productions, John Cameron's recent projects have included undersea documentaries on the (Expedition: Bismarck
Expedition: Bismarck
Expedition: Bismarck is a 2002 documentary film produced for the Discovery Channel by Andrew Wight and James Cameron, directed by James Cameron and Gary Johnstone, and narrated by Lance Henriksen. The film follows an underwater expedition to the German battleship Bismarck and digitally reconstructs...

, 2002) and the Titanic (Ghosts of the Abyss
Ghosts of the Abyss
Ghosts of the Abyss is a 2003 documentary film released by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media. It was Disney's first film produced in 3-D and was directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker James Cameron after his Oscar winning film Titanic...

 (2003, in IMAX 3D) and Tony Robinson
Tony Robinson
Tony Robinson is an English actor, comedian, author, broadcaster and political campaigner. He is best known for playing Baldrick in the BBC television series Blackadder, and for hosting Channel 4 programmes such as Time Team and The Worst Jobs in History. Robinson is a member of the Labour Party...

's Titanic Adventure (2005)). He was a producer on the 2002 film Solaris
Solaris (2002 film)
Solaris is a 2002 science fiction film and psychological drama directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring George Clooney and Natascha McElhone...

, and narrated The Exodus Decoded.

Cameron is a leading advocate for stereoscopic digital
Digital
A digital system is a data technology that uses discrete values. By contrast, non-digital systems use a continuous range of values to represent information...

 3-D film
3-D film
A 3-D film or S3D film is a motion picture that enhances the illusion of depth perception...

s. In a 2003 interview about his IMAX 2D documentary Ghosts of the Abyss
Ghosts of the Abyss
Ghosts of the Abyss is a 2003 documentary film released by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media. It was Disney's first film produced in 3-D and was directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker James Cameron after his Oscar winning film Titanic...

, he mentioned that he is "going to do everything in 3D now". He has made similar statements in other interviews. Ghosts of the Abyss
Ghosts of the Abyss
Ghosts of the Abyss is a 2003 documentary film released by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media. It was Disney's first film produced in 3-D and was directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker James Cameron after his Oscar winning film Titanic...

 and Aliens of the Deep
Aliens of the Deep
Aliens of the Deep is a 2005 documentary film, directed in part by James Cameron alongside fellow cameraman Steven Quale, who would later go on to direct Final Destination 5 six years later, and filmed in the IMAX 3D format. It was produced by Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures...

 (also an IMAX documentary) were both shot in 3-D and released by Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures is an American film studio owned by The Walt Disney Company. Walt Disney Pictures and Television, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Studios and the main production company for live-action feature films within the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, based at the Walt Disney...

 and Walden Media
Walden Media
Walden Media is a children's film production and publishing company best known as the producers of The Chronicles of Narnia series. Its films are based on notable classic or award-winning children's literature, compelling biographies or historical events, documentaries and some original...

, and Cameron did the same for his new project, Avatar for 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

 & Sony Pictures' Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film production and distribution company. Columbia Pictures now forms part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate Sony. It is one of the leading film companies...

. He intends to use the same technology for The Dive, Sanctum and an adaptation of the manga series Battle Angel Alita
Battle Angel Alita
Battle Angel Alita, known in Japan as , is a manga series created by Yukito Kishiro in 1990 and originally published in Shueisha's Business Jump magazine. Two of the nine-volume comics were adapted into two anime original video animation episodes titled Battle Angel for North American release by...

.

Cameron was the founder and CEO of Digital Domain
Digital Domain
Digital Domain is a visual effects and animation company founded by film director James Cameron, Stan Winston and Scott Ross. It is based in Venice, Los Angeles, California...

, a visual effects production and technology company.

In addition, he plans to create a 3-D project about the first trip to Mars
Mars
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. It is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance...

. ("I've been very interested in the Humans to Mars movement—the 'Mars Underground'—and I've done a tremendous amount of personal research for a novel, a miniseries, and a 3-D film.") He is on the science team for the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory
Mars Science Laboratory
The Mars Science Laboratory is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration mission with the aim to land and operate a rover named Curiosity on the surface of Mars. The MSL was launched November 26, 2011, at 10:02 EST and is scheduled to land on Mars at Gale Crater between August 6 and 20, 2012...

.

Cameron announced on February 26, 2007, that he, along with his director, Simcha Jacobovici
Simcha Jacobovici
Simcha Jacobovici is a Canadian film director, producer, free-lance journalist, and writer. He is a three-times Emmy winner for Outstanding Investigative Journalism....

, have documented the unearthing of the Talpiot Tomb
Talpiot Tomb
The Talpiot Tomb is a rock-cut tomb discovered in 1980 in the East Talpiot neighborhood, five kilometers south of the Old City in East Jerusalem. It contained ten ossuaries, six of them with epigraphs, including one with the inscription that has been interpreted as "Jesus, son of Joseph", though...

, which is alleged to be the tomb of Jesus. Unearthed in 1981 by Israeli construction workers, the names on the tomb are claimed, by Cameron, to correlate with the names of Jesus and several individuals closely associated with him. Cameron further claims to have DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 tests, archaeological evidence, and Biblical studies to back up his claim. The documentary, named The Lost Tomb of Jesus
The Lost Tomb of Jesus
The Lost Tomb of Jesus is a documentary co-produced and first broadcast on the Discovery Channel and Vision TV in Canada on March 4, 2007, covering the discovery of the Talpiot Tomb. It was directed by Canadian documentary and film maker Simcha Jacobovici and produced by Felix Golubev and Ric...

, was broadcast on the Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is an American satellite and cable specialty channel , founded by John Hendricks and distributed by Discovery Communications. It is a publicly traded company run by CEO David Zaslav...

 on March 4, 2006.

Avatar (2009)


In June 2005, Cameron was announced to be working on a project tentatively titled "Project 880" (now known to be Avatar) in parallel with another project, Battle Angel (an adaptation of the manga series Battle Angel Alita
Battle Angel Alita
Battle Angel Alita, known in Japan as , is a manga series created by Yukito Kishiro in 1990 and originally published in Shueisha's Business Jump magazine. Two of the nine-volume comics were adapted into two anime original video animation episodes titled Battle Angel for North American release by...

). Both movies were to be shot in 3D. By December, Cameron stated that he wanted to film Battle Angel first, followed by Avatar. However in February 2006, he switched goals for the two film projects and decided to film Avatar first. He mentioned that if both films are successful, he would be interested in seeing a trilogy being made for both.

Avatar had an estimated budget of over $300 million and was released on December 18, 2009. This marked his first feature film since 1997's Titanic
Titanic (1997 film)
Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater and Billy Zane as Rose's fiancé, Cal...

. It is composed almost entirely of computer-generated animation, using a more advanced version of the "performance capture" technique used by director Robert Zemeckis
Robert Zemeckis
Robert Lee Zemeckis is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Zemeckis first came to public attention in the 1980s as the director of the comedic time-travel Back to the Future film series, as well as the Academy Award-winning live-action/animation epic Who Framed Roger Rabbit ,...

 in The Polar Express
The Polar Express (film)
The Polar Express is a 2004 motion capture computer-animated film based on the children's book of the same title by Chris Van Allsburg. Written, produced, and directed by Robert Zemeckis, the human characters in the film were animated using live action performance capture technique, with the...

. James Cameron wrote an 80 page scriptment
Scriptment
A scriptment is a written work by a movie or television screenwriter that combines elements of a script and treatment, especially the dialogue elements, which are formatted the same as in a screenplay. It is a more elaborate document than a standard draft treatment...

 for Avatar in 1995 and announced in 1996 that he would make the film after completing Titanic. In December 2006, Cameron explained that the delay in producing the film since the 1990s had been to wait until the technology necessary to create his project was advanced enough. The film was originally scheduled to be released in May 2009 but was pushed back to December 2009 to allow more time for post production on the complex CGI
Computer-generated imagery
Computer-generated imagery is the application of the field of computer graphics or, more specifically, 3D computer graphics to special effects in art, video games, films, television programs, commercials, simulators and simulation generally, and printed media...

 and to give more time for theatres worldwide to install 3D projectors. Cameron originally intended Avatar to be 3D-only. The film went on to break the record for highest-grossing film ever, beating Cameron's previous film Titanic
Titanic (1997 film)
Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater and Billy Zane as Rose's fiancé, Cal...

. Avatar also became the first movie to ever earn more than $2 billion worldwide. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

, including Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

 and Best Director, and won three for Best Cinematography
Academy Award for Best Cinematography
The Academy Award for Best Cinematography is an Academy Award awarded each year to a cinematographer for work in one particular motion picture.-History:...

, Best Visual Effects and Best Art Direction
Academy Award for Best Art Direction
The Academy Awards are the oldest awards ceremony for achievements in motion pictures. The Academy Award for Best Art Direction recognizes achievement in art direction on a film. The films below are listed with their production year, so the Oscar 2000 for best art direction went to a film from 1999...

. Cameron lost the award for Best Director to his ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Ann Bigelow is an American film director. Her best-known films are the cult horror film Near Dark , the surfer/bank robbery action picture Point Break , the science fiction/film noir Strange Days , the historical/mystery film The Weight of Water and the war drama The Hurt Locker...

, who also took Best Picture with her film The Hurt Locker
The Hurt Locker
The Hurt Locker is a 2009 American war film about a three-man United States Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team during the Iraq War. The film was directed by Kathryn Bigelow and the screenplay was written by Mark Boal, a freelance writer who was embedded as a journalist in 2004 with a US bomb...

.

Cameron was declared as the highest earner in Hollywood for 2010 earning $257 million for his blockbuster hit, in a survey listing the top 40 earners by Vanity Fair.

Awards


Cameron received the Bradbury Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, or SFWA is a nonprofit association of professional science fiction and fantasy writers. It was founded in 1965 by Damon Knight under the name Science Fiction Writers of America, Inc. and it retains the acronym SFWA after a very brief use of the SFFWA...

 in 1991—but, being primarily thought of as a genre filmmaker, he did not receive any major mainstream filmmaking awards prior to Titanic
Titanic (1997 film)
Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater and Billy Zane as Rose's fiancé, Cal...

. With Titanic, Cameron received Academy Awards for Best Film Editing (shared with Conrad Buff
Conrad Buff
Conrad Buff is an American film editor with more than 25 film credits since 1985. Buff is known for winning an Academy Award for Best Film Editing and an ACE Eddie Award for Titanic ; the awards were shared with his co-editors James Cameron and Richard A. Harris...

 and Richard A. Harris
Richard A. Harris
Richard A. Harris is a film editor with a career spanning nearly forty years. He graduated from the School of Cinematic Arts of the University of Southern California in 1956.-Awards:...

), Best Picture (shared with Jon Landau
Jon Landau (film producer)
Jon Landau is an American film producer.Landau was born in New York City, New York, the son of Edie, a producer, and Ely A. Landau, a studio executive and producer, of non-practicing Jewish, German ancestry. He is one of the "famous faces" due to being a regular player on the online poker website...

), and Best Director. He also won a Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
The Golden Globe Award is an accolade bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign...

 for best director for the film.

In recognition of "a distinguished career as a Canadian filmmaker", Carleton University
Carleton University
Carleton University is a comprehensive university located in the capital of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. The enabling legislation is The Carleton University Act, 1952, S.O. 1952. Founded as a small college in 1942, Carleton now offers over 65 programs in a diverse range of disciplines. Carleton has...

, Ottawa, awarded Cameron the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts on June 13, 1998. Cameron accepted the degree in person and gave the Convocation Address.

He also received an honorary doctorate in October 1998 from Brock University
Brock University
Brock University is a comprehensive university located in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Brock offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs that include co-op and other experiential learning opportunities to an enrolment of over 17,000 full-time students.The enabling legislation is...

 in St. Catharines, Ontario, for his accomplishments in the international film industry.

In 1998, Cameron attended convocation to receive an honorary doctorate of Laws from Ryerson University, Toronto. The university awards its highest honor to those who have made extraordinary contributions in Canada, or internationally.

In 1999, Cameron received the honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from California State University, Fullerton
California State University, Fullerton
California State University, Fullerton is a public university located in Fullerton, California. It is the largest institution in the CSU System by enrollment, it offers long-distance education and adult-degree programs...

, where he had been a student in the 1970s. He received the degree at the university's annual Commencement exercises that year, where he gave the keynote speech.

In recognition of his contributions to underwater filming and remote vehicle technology, the University of Southampton
University of Southampton
The University of Southampton is a British public university located in the city of Southampton, England, a member of the Russell Group. The origins of the university can be dated back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862 by Henry Robertson Hartley. In 1902, the Institution developed...

 awarded Cameron the honorary degree of Doctor of the University. Cameron received his degree in person at the graduation
Graduation
Graduation is the action of receiving or conferring an academic degree or the ceremony that is sometimes associated, where students become Graduates. Before the graduation, candidates are referred to as Graduands. The date of graduation is often called degree day. The graduation itself is also...

 ceremony in July 2004.

On June 3, 2008, it was announced that he would be inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame
Canada's Walk of Fame
Canada's Walk of Fame , located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a walk of fame that acknowledges the achievements and accomplishments of successful Canadians...

. On December 18, 2009, the same day Avatar was released worldwide, Cameron received the 2,396th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of more than 2,400 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California...

.

On February 28, 2010 James Cameron was honored with a Visual Effects Society
Visual Effects Society
The Visual Effects Society is the entertainment industry's only organization representing the full breadth of visual effects practitioners including artists, animators, technologists, model makers, educators, studio leaders, supervisors, PR/marketing specialists and producers in all areas of...

 (VES) Lifetime Achievement Award.

With Avatar, Cameron has been nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Picture (shared with Jon Landau), Best Director and Best Film Editing (shared with John Refoua and Stephen E. Rivkin
Stephen E. Rivkin
Stephen E. Rivkin is a film editor and producer with more than 30 film credits. His career started in 1976 on the short film, Ain't We Having Fun?. Since 1994 he has been the principal editor working with director Norman Jewison. Rivkin has been elected a member of the American Cinema Editors...

) and received the Golden Globe for Best Picture and Best Director. Cameron and Avatar lost the Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture to Cameron's former wife Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Ann Bigelow is an American film director. Her best-known films are the cult horror film Near Dark , the surfer/bank robbery action picture Point Break , the science fiction/film noir Strange Days , the historical/mystery film The Weight of Water and the war drama The Hurt Locker...

 for her film, The Hurt Locker
The Hurt Locker
The Hurt Locker is a 2009 American war film about a three-man United States Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team during the Iraq War. The film was directed by Kathryn Bigelow and the screenplay was written by Mark Boal, a freelance writer who was embedded as a journalist in 2004 with a US bomb...

.

On September 24, 2010 James Cameron was named Number 1 in The 2010 Guardian Film Power 100 list. In a list compiled by the British magazine New Statesman in September 2010, he was listed 30th in the list of "The World's 50 Most Influential Figures 2010".

Awards

Year Film Role Notes
1984 The Terminator
The Terminator
The Terminator is a 1984 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron, co-written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr., and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, and Linda Hamilton. The film was produced by Hemdale Film Corporation and distributed by Orion Pictures, and filmed in Los...

 
Director, Writer Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film
Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film
The Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film is a Saturn Award given to the best film in the science fiction genre by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films.-Winners:-External links:*...


Saturn Award for Best Make-up
Saturn Award for Best Make-up
The following is a list of Saturn Award winners for Best Make-up:...


Saturn Award for Best Writing
Saturn Award for Best Writing
The following is a list of people who have won the Saturn Award for Best Writing.-Multiple Winners:*James Cameron - 3 awards*Christopher Nolan - 3 awards*William Peter Blatty - 3 awards-External links:* http://www.saturnawards.org/past.html#writing...

1985 Rambo: First Blood Part II
Rambo: First Blood Part II
Rambo: First Blood Part II is a 1985 action film. A sequel to 1982's First Blood, it is the second installment in the Rambo series starring Sylvester Stallone, who reprises his role as Vietnam veteran John Rambo...

 
Writer Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay
1986 Aliens
Aliens (film)
Aliens is a 1986 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Bill Paxton...

 
Director, Writer Academy Award for Best Sound Editing
Academy Award for Best Visual Effects
Nominated for Academy Award for Best Actress
Academy Award for Best Actress
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...


Nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
Academy Award for Best Original Score
The Academy Award for Original Score is presented to the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film by the submitting composer.-Superlatives:...


Nominated for Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing
Nominated for Academy Award for Best Film Editing
Nominated for Academy Award for Best Art Direction
Academy Award for Best Art Direction
The Academy Awards are the oldest awards ceremony for achievements in motion pictures. The Academy Award for Best Art Direction recognizes achievement in art direction on a film. The films below are listed with their production year, so the Oscar 2000 for best art direction went to a film from 1999...

1989 The Abyss
The Abyss
The Abyss is a 1989 science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron. It stars Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn. The original musical score was composed by Alan Silvestri...

 
Director, Writer Academy Award for Best Visual Effects
Nominated for Academy Award for Best Art Direction
Academy Award for Best Art Direction
The Academy Awards are the oldest awards ceremony for achievements in motion pictures. The Academy Award for Best Art Direction recognizes achievement in art direction on a film. The films below are listed with their production year, so the Oscar 2000 for best art direction went to a film from 1999...


Nominated for Academy Award for Best Cinematography
Academy Award for Best Cinematography
The Academy Award for Best Cinematography is an Academy Award awarded each year to a cinematographer for work in one particular motion picture.-History:...


Nominated for Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing
1991 Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr.. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, and Edward Furlong...

 
Director, Writer and Producer Academy Award for Best Makeup
Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing
Academy Award for Best Sound Editing
Academy Award for Best Visual Effects
Nominated for Academy Award for Best Cinematography
Academy Award for Best Cinematography
The Academy Award for Best Cinematography is an Academy Award awarded each year to a cinematographer for work in one particular motion picture.-History:...


Nominated for Academy Award for Best Film Editing
1994 True Lies
True Lies
True Lies is a 1994 American action-comedy film directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Tia Carrere, Charlton Heston, and Art Malik. Eliza Dushku also appears in the film in one of her first major film roles...

 
Director, Writer and Producer Nominated for Academy Award
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 for Best Visual Effects
1997 Titanic
Titanic (1997 film)
Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater and Billy Zane as Rose's fiancé, Cal...

 
Director, Writer, Producer and Editor Academy Award for Best Director
Academy Award for Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...


Academy Award for Best Film Editing
Academy Award for Best Cinematography
Academy Award for Best Cinematography
The Academy Award for Best Cinematography is an Academy Award awarded each year to a cinematographer for work in one particular motion picture.-History:...


Academy Award for Best Costume Design
Academy Award for Best Visual Effects
Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing
Academy Award for Best Sound Editing
Academy Award for Best Original Score
Academy Award for Best Original Score
The Academy Award for Original Score is presented to the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film by the submitting composer.-Superlatives:...


Academy Award for Best Original Song
Academy Award for Best Original Song
The Academy Award for Best Original Song is one of the awards given annually to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences . It is presented to the songwriters who have composed the best original song written specifically for a film...


Academy Award for Best Art Direction
Academy Award for Best Art Direction
The Academy Awards are the oldest awards ceremony for achievements in motion pictures. The Academy Award for Best Art Direction recognizes achievement in art direction on a film. The films below are listed with their production year, so the Oscar 2000 for best art direction went to a film from 1999...


Nominated for Academy Award for Best Actress
Academy Award for Best Actress
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...


Nominated for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the...


Nominated for Academy Award for Best Makeup
2003 Ghosts of the Abyss
Ghosts of the Abyss
Ghosts of the Abyss is a 2003 documentary film released by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media. It was Disney's first film produced in 3-D and was directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker James Cameron after his Oscar winning film Titanic...

 
Director and Producer Nominated by the Broadcast Film Critics Association
Broadcast Film Critics Association
The Broadcast Film Critics Association is the largest film critics organization in the United States and Canada , representing approximately 250 television, radio and online critics....

 for Best Documentary
2009 Avatar  Director, Writer, Producer and Editor Academy Award for Best Cinematography
Academy Award for Best Cinematography
The Academy Award for Best Cinematography is an Academy Award awarded each year to a cinematographer for work in one particular motion picture.-History:...


Academy Award for Best Visual Effects
Academy Award for Best Art Direction
Academy Award for Best Art Direction
The Academy Awards are the oldest awards ceremony for achievements in motion pictures. The Academy Award for Best Art Direction recognizes achievement in art direction on a film. The films below are listed with their production year, so the Oscar 2000 for best art direction went to a film from 1999...


Nominated for Academy Award for Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...


Nominated for Academy Award for Best Director
Nominated for Academy Award for Best Film Editing
Nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
Academy Award for Best Original Score
The Academy Award for Original Score is presented to the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film by the submitting composer.-Superlatives:...


Nominated for Academy Award for Best Sound Editing
Nominated for Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing

Casting


Cameron often casts certain actors more than once in his films. Cameron has consistently worked with Bill Paxton
Bill Paxton
William "Bill" Paxton is an American actor and film director. He gained popularity after starring roles in the films Apollo 13, Twister, Aliens, True Lies, and Titanic...

, Michael Biehn
Michael Biehn
Michael Connell Biehn is an American actor. He is best known for his roles in James Cameron's science fiction action films The Terminator as Kyle Reese, Aliens as Cpl. Dwayne Hicks, and The Abyss as Lt. Coffey. He has also acted in such films as Tombstone, The Rock, and Planet Terror...

, Lance Henriksen
Lance Henriksen
Lance James Henriksen is an American actor and artist best known to film and television audiences for his roles in science fiction, action, and horror films such as the Alien film franchise, and on television shows such as Millennium....

, Jenette Goldstein
Jenette Goldstein
Jenette Elise Goldstein is an American actress.- Life and career :Goldstein was born in Los Angeles, California and was raised in Beverly Hills. Her first film role was in James Cameron's Aliens , playing the Hispanic character PFC Jenette Vasquez...

 and Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011....

.
Actor Xenogenesis
Xenogenesis (film)
Xenogenesis is a 1978 science fiction short film directed by Canadian director James Cameron.-Plot:A woman and an engineered man are sent in a gigantic sentient starship to search space for a place to start a new life cycle. Raj decides to take a look around the ship. He comes across a gigantic...

 (1978)
Piranha II: The Spawning
Piranha II: The Spawning
Piranha II: The Spawning, also known as Piranha II: Flying Killers, is a 1981 horror film, the sequel to the 1978 low-budget film Piranha, and the feature film directorial debut of James Cameron.-Plot:...

 (1981)
The Terminator
The Terminator
The Terminator is a 1984 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron, co-written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr., and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, and Linda Hamilton. The film was produced by Hemdale Film Corporation and distributed by Orion Pictures, and filmed in Los...

 (1984)
Aliens
Aliens (film)
Aliens is a 1986 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Bill Paxton...

 (1986)
The Abyss
The Abyss
The Abyss is a 1989 science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron. It stars Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn. The original musical score was composed by Alan Silvestri...

 (1989)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr.. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, and Edward Furlong...

 (1991)
True Lies
True Lies
True Lies is a 1994 American action-comedy film directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Tia Carrere, Charlton Heston, and Art Malik. Eliza Dushku also appears in the film in one of her first major film roles...

 (1994)
Titanic
Titanic (1997 film)
Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater and Billy Zane as Rose's fiancé, Cal...

 (1997)
Expedition: Bismarck
Expedition: Bismarck
Expedition: Bismarck is a 2002 documentary film produced for the Discovery Channel by Andrew Wight and James Cameron, directed by James Cameron and Gary Johnstone, and narrated by Lance Henriksen. The film follows an underwater expedition to the German battleship Bismarck and digitally reconstructs...

 (2002)
Ghosts of the Abyss
Ghosts of the Abyss
Ghosts of the Abyss is a 2003 documentary film released by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media. It was Disney's first film produced in 3-D and was directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker James Cameron after his Oscar winning film Titanic...

 (2003)
Avatar (2009) Avatar 2 (2014) Avatar 3 (2015)
Lance Henriksen
Lance Henriksen
Lance James Henriksen is an American actor and artist best known to film and television audiences for his roles in science fiction, action, and horror films such as the Alien film franchise, and on television shows such as Millennium....

Bill Paxton
Bill Paxton
William "Bill" Paxton is an American actor and film director. He gained popularity after starring roles in the films Apollo 13, Twister, Aliens, True Lies, and Titanic...

Michael Biehn
Michael Biehn
Michael Connell Biehn is an American actor. He is best known for his roles in James Cameron's science fiction action films The Terminator as Kyle Reese, Aliens as Cpl. Dwayne Hicks, and The Abyss as Lt. Coffey. He has also acted in such films as Tombstone, The Rock, and Planet Terror...

1
Earl Boen
Earl Boen
Earl Boen is an American actor and voice actor. He is perhaps best known as criminal psychologist Dr. Peter Silberman in the Terminator series...

Linda Hamilton
Linda Hamilton
Linda Carroll Hamilton is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Sarah Connor in The Terminator and its sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Catherine Chandler in the television series Beauty and the Beast, for which she was nominated for two Golden Globes and an Emmy...

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011....

Jenette Goldstein
Jenette Goldstein
Jenette Elise Goldstein is an American actress.- Life and career :Goldstein was born in Los Angeles, California and was raised in Beverly Hills. Her first film role was in James Cameron's Aliens , playing the Hispanic character PFC Jenette Vasquez...

Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver is an American actress. She is best known for her critically acclaimed role of Ellen Ripley in the four Alien films: Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection, for which she has received worldwide recognition .Other notable roles include Dana...

Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana , sometimes stylized Zoë Saldaña, is an American actress. She had her breakthrough role in the 2000 film Center Stage and later gained prominence for her roles as Anamaria in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Uhura in the 2009 film Star Trek, and a starring role...

William Wisher, Jr.2
Sam Worthington
Sam Worthington
Samuel Henry J. "Sam" Worthington is an English born, Australian actor. After almost a decade of roles in Australian TV shows and films, Worthington gained Hollywood's attention by playing Marcus Wright in Terminator Salvation and the lead role, Jake Sully, in James Cameron's science...



1 His reprised role of Reese was cut from the theatrical release, but restored in the DVD's Special Edition Version.

2 Although Wisher Jr. has written some of Cameron's works, he is listed in the above table as an actor.

Recurring themes


Throughout Cameron's career, several of his films have had recurring themes and subtexts. These include: the prospects of nuclear holocaust (the Skynet takeover scenario from both Terminator films), attempts to reconcile humanity with technology (as seen in Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgment Day), humanity repeating the same mistakes, the dangers of corporate greed, strong female characters (Sarah Connor, Neytiri, and Ellen Ripley being the most famous), a strong romance subplot, the love of two worlds (The Terminator, Titanic, Avatar), anti-corporation (Aliens, Avatar), anti-military (The Abyss, Avatar), patchy 'families' forming during the plot (Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgment Day), self-sacrificing - that may or may not result in actual death/termination - for a loved one or for mankind (all of his feature films as of 2011), holding breath and the danger of suffocation (The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Titanic, Avatar) and an undercurrent of feminism. This was also present with Jamie Lee Curtis's character in True Lies and Kate Winslet's role in Titanic, in which she served as the main protagonist and narrator.

While The Abyss dealt with deep sea exploration (shot on a studio set), Cameron himself became an expert in the field of deep sea wreckage exploration exploring the wreckage of Titanic and Bismarck. Cameron will return to this theme with The Dive (see Projects), shooting from a minisub.

So important is technology in Cameron's films that he waited years for the technical tools of the craft to advance sufficiently to realize his vision for Avatar, for which he had special 3-D cameras developed.

Filmography



Cameron has contributed to many projects as either a writer, director, producer, or as a combination of the three.

Cameron's first film was the 1978 science fiction
Science fiction film
Science fiction film is a film genre that uses science fiction: speculative, science-based depictions of phenomena that are not necessarily accepted by mainstream science, such as extraterrestrial life forms, alien worlds, extrasensory perception, and time travel, often along with futuristic...

 short film Xenogenesis, which he directed, wrote and produced. Cameron's films have grossed a total of over $7 billion worldwide.

In addition to works of fiction, Cameron has directed and appeared in several documentaries including Ghosts of the Abyss
Ghosts of the Abyss
Ghosts of the Abyss is a 2003 documentary film released by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media. It was Disney's first film produced in 3-D and was directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker James Cameron after his Oscar winning film Titanic...

 and Aliens of the Deep
Aliens of the Deep
Aliens of the Deep is a 2005 documentary film, directed in part by James Cameron alongside fellow cameraman Steven Quale, who would later go on to direct Final Destination 5 six years later, and filmed in the IMAX 3D format. It was produced by Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures...

. He also contributed to a number of television series including Dark Angel
Dark Angel (TV series)
Dark Angel is an American biopunk/cyberpunk science fiction television series created by James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee. The show premiered in the United States on the Fox network on October 3, 2000, and was canceled after two seasons...

 and Entourage
Entourage (TV series)
Entourage is an American comedy-drama television series that premiered on HBO on July 18, 2004 and concluded on September 11, 2011, after eight seasons...

. He plans to shoot a small drama
Drama film
A drama film is a film genre that depends mostly on in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes. Dramatic themes such as alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, moral dilemmas, racial prejudice, religious intolerance, poverty, class divisions, violence against women...

 film after the Avatar
Avatar
In Hinduism, an avatar is a deliberate descent of a deity to earth, or a descent of the Supreme Being and is mostly translated into English as "incarnation," but more accurately as "appearance" or "manifestation"....

 trilogy, just to prove that 3D works even for domestic dramas. His next movie is called Myth.

Personal life


Cameron has been married five times: to Sharon Williams (1978–1984), Gale Anne Hurd
Gale Anne Hurd
Gale Anne Hurd is an American film producer and screenwriter.-Early life:Hurd was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Lolita and Frank E. Hurd, an investor. She grew up in Palm Springs, California and graduated from Stanford University with a B.A...

 (1985–1989), Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Ann Bigelow is an American film director. Her best-known films are the cult horror film Near Dark , the surfer/bank robbery action picture Point Break , the science fiction/film noir Strange Days , the historical/mystery film The Weight of Water and the war drama The Hurt Locker...

 (1989–1991), and Linda Hamilton
Linda Hamilton
Linda Carroll Hamilton is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Sarah Connor in The Terminator and its sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Catherine Chandler in the television series Beauty and the Beast, for which she was nominated for two Golden Globes and an Emmy...

 (1997–1999, daughter Josephine born in 1993). Cameron dated Hamilton since 1991, but the two didn't marry until 1997. Cameron and Hamilton separated soon after, and he became a financial success with Titanic
Titanic (1997 film)
Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater and Billy Zane as Rose's fiancé, Cal...

; this success resulted in his $50 million divorce payment to Hamilton. He married Suzy Amis
Suzy Amis
Susan Elizabeth "Suzy" Amis is an American former film actress and former model.-Career:Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Amis first worked as a Ford model before she began acting in the 1980s. She made her feature film debut in the 1985 comedy film Fandango, opposite Kevin Costner...

 in 2000, and they have one son and two daughters. Cameron lives in Malibu, California with his wife.

Hurd was the producer of Cameron's The Terminator
The Terminator
The Terminator is a 1984 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron, co-written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr., and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, and Linda Hamilton. The film was produced by Hemdale Film Corporation and distributed by Orion Pictures, and filmed in Los...

, Aliens
Aliens (film)
Aliens is a 1986 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Bill Paxton...

, and The Abyss
The Abyss
The Abyss is a 1989 science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron. It stars Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn. The original musical score was composed by Alan Silvestri...

, and the executive producer of Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr.. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, and Edward Furlong...

. Hamilton played the role of Sarah Connor in both Terminator films. Amis played the part of Lizzy Calvert, Rose's granddaughter, in Titanic
Titanic (1997 film)
Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater and Billy Zane as Rose's fiancé, Cal...

. Both Cameron (Avatar) and Bigelow (The Hurt Locker
The Hurt Locker
The Hurt Locker is a 2009 American war film about a three-man United States Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team during the Iraq War. The film was directed by Kathryn Bigelow and the screenplay was written by Mark Boal, a freelance writer who was embedded as a journalist in 2004 with a US bomb...

) were nominated for the Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA Award for Best Director for films released in 2009. Cameron won the Golden Globe, whilst Bigelow won the Oscar and the BAFTA for Best Director, becoming the first woman to win either.

Cameron is a member of the NASA Advisory Council and is working on the project to put cameras on an upcoming manned Mars
Mars
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. It is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance...

 mission. Cameron has also given speeches and raised money for the Mars Society
Mars Society
The Mars Society is an international space advocacy non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the human exploration and settlement of the planet Mars. It was founded by Robert Zubrin and others in 1998 and attracted the support of notable science fiction writers and filmmakers, including Kim...

, a non-profit organization lobbying for the colonization of Mars
Colonization of Mars
The colonization of Mars by humans is the focus of speculation and serious study because the surface conditions and availability of water on Mars make it arguably the most hospitable planet in the solar system other than Earth...

.

In June 2010, Cameron met in Washington with the EPA to discuss possible solutions to the 2010 BP oil spill
Deepwater Horizon oil spill
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which flowed unabated for three months in 2010, and continues to leak fresh oil. It is the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry...

. Later that week at the All Things Digital Conference, he attracted some notoriety when he stated, "Over the last few weeks I've watched...and [been] thinking, 'Those morons don't know what they're doing'." Reportedly, Cameron had offered BP
BP
BP p.l.c. is a global oil and gas company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest energy company and fourth-largest company in the world measured by revenues and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors"...

 help to plug the oil well, but they declined. The oil spill was eventually stopped using techniques similar to what Cameron recommended.

Although Cameron has lived his entire adult life in the United States, he remains a Canadian citizen. Cameron applied for American citizenship but withdrew his application after George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 won the presidential election in 2004.

Cameron calls himself "Converted Agnostic", and says "I've sworn off agnosticism
Agnosticism
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

, which I now call cowardly atheism
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

". As a child he described the Lord's Prayer
Lord's Prayer
The Lord's Prayer is a central prayer in Christianity. In the New Testament of the Christian Bible, it appears in two forms: in the Gospel of Matthew as part of the discourse on ostentation in the Sermon on the Mount, and in the Gospel of Luke, which records Jesus being approached by "one of his...

 as being a 'tribal chant'.

Reputation


Cameron has been labeled by one collaborator, author Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card is an American author, critic, public speaker, essayist, columnist, and political activist. He writes in several genres, but is primarily known for his science fiction. His novel Ender's Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the...

, as selfish and cruel. When asked about working with Cameron on the novelization of The Abyss, Card said the experience was "hell on wheels. He was very nice to me, because I could afford to walk away. But he made everyone around him miserable, and his unkindness did nothing to improve the film in any way. Nor did it motivate people to work faster or better. And unless he changes his way of working with people, I hope he never directs anything of mine. In fact, now that this is in print, I can fairly guarantee that he will never direct anything of mine. Life is too short to collaborate with selfish, cruel people."

After working with Cameron on Titanic, Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet
Kate Elizabeth Winslet is an English actress and occasional singer. She has received multiple awards and nominations. She was the youngest person to accrue six Academy Award nominations, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Reader...

 decided she would not work with Cameron again unless she earned "a lot of money." She said that Cameron was a nice man, but she found his temper difficult to deal with. In an editorial, the British newspaper The Independent
The Independent
The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

 said that Cameron "is a nightmare to work with. Studios have come to fear his habit of straying way over schedule and over budget. He is notorious on set for his uncompromising and dictatorial manner, as well as his flaming temper."

Sam Worthington
Sam Worthington
Samuel Henry J. "Sam" Worthington is an English born, Australian actor. After almost a decade of roles in Australian TV shows and films, Worthington gained Hollywood's attention by playing Marcus Wright in Terminator Salvation and the lead role, Jake Sully, in James Cameron's science...

, the latest lead actor to work with Cameron, stated on the Jay Leno Show that Cameron had very high expectations from everyone, and would often use a nail gun to nail the film crew's cell phones to a wall above an exit door in retaliation for unwanted ringing during production. Other actors, such as Bill Paxton
Bill Paxton
William "Bill" Paxton is an American actor and film director. He gained popularity after starring roles in the films Apollo 13, Twister, Aliens, True Lies, and Titanic...

 and Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver is an American actress. She is best known for her critically acclaimed role of Ellen Ripley in the four Alien films: Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection, for which she has received worldwide recognition .Other notable roles include Dana...

, have praised Cameron's perfectionism. Weaver said of Cameron: "He really does want us to risk our lives and limbs for the shot, but he doesn't mind risking his own."

Appearances in media

  • Entourage
    Entourage (TV series)
    Entourage is an American comedy-drama television series that premiered on HBO on July 18, 2004 and concluded on September 11, 2011, after eight seasons...

     – Cameron appeared as himself. In the series' storyline, he is the director of a film based on the superhero Aquaman
    Aquaman
    Aquaman is a fictional superhero who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger, the character debuted in More Fun Comics #73 . Initially a backup feature in DC's anthology titles, Aquaman later starred in several volumes of a solo title...

    . Cameron's involvement in the project attracted protagonist Vincent Chase
    Vincent Chase
    Vincent "Vince" Chase is a fictional character on the comedy-drama television series Entourage. He is played by Adrian Grenier.-Personal life:...

     to the title role.
  • The Muse
  • Saturday Night Live
    Saturday Night Live
    Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

     – In the episode hosted by Sigourney Weaver
    Sigourney Weaver
    Sigourney Weaver is an American actress. She is best known for her critically acclaimed role of Ellen Ripley in the four Alien films: Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection, for which she has received worldwide recognition .Other notable roles include Dana...

    , Cameron appears as himself in an SNL Digital Short in which he presents Lorne Michaels
    Lorne Michaels
    Lorne Michaels, CM is a Canadian-American television producer, writer, and comedian best known for creating and producing Saturday Night Live and producing the various film and TV projects that spun off from it.-Early life:...

     with an idea for a new film that, much to Michaels' dismay, is a sequel to Laser Cats 4, Laser Cats 5 (starring Weaver), parodying Terminator, Aliens, Titanic, and Avatar. Cameron also appeared as himself when his longtime friend Bill Paxton
    Bill Paxton
    William "Bill" Paxton is an American actor and film director. He gained popularity after starring roles in the films Apollo 13, Twister, Aliens, True Lies, and Titanic...

     hosted the show.
  • Your Studio and You
    Your Studio and You
    Your Studio and You is a comedy short film created in 1995 by Matt Stone and Trey Parker and commissioned by comedic filmmaker David Zucker. It was to be played at a party Seagram threw for its employees acquired as a result of its Universal Studios take-over. It parodies the style of 1950s...

     – Cameron appears in the short, gardening the Universal studio landscape.

Further reading


  • Matthew Wilhelm Kapell and Stephen McVeigh, eds., The Films of James Cameron: Critical Essays. McFarland & Company
    McFarland & Company
    McFarland & Company, Inc. is a book publisher of primarily academic and adult nonfiction based in Jefferson, North Carolina. Its president and editor-in-chief is Robert Franklin, who began the enterprise in 1979...

    , 2011.


External links



  • James Cameron at The INK Conference
    The INK Conference
    INK is an annual conference held in association with TED. It brings together influential thinkers and doers from around the world and in a variety of disciplines, including art, architecture, dance, design, music, science, social entrepreneurship, sports, and technology...

  • James Cameron at Northern Stars