Cameron eyes Oz
* James Wigney
* From: Sunday Herald Sun
* January 17, 2010 12:01AM
Avatar director James Cameron's next gig will be working as executive producer on the film 'Sanctum' which is to be shot on the Gold Coast.
OSCAR-winning director James Cameron is heading to Australia to oversee his next film project after the record-breaking Avatar.
As his critically lauded sci-fi epic is set to sail past $70 million at the Australian box office, having smashed his decade-old high-water mark of $56.8 million set by Titanic, Cameron lavished praise on Australian talent.
The Canadian-born director's next project is a $30 million psychological thriller called Sanctum, which is being filmed at the Warner-Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast using the same revolutionary 3D cameras that made Avatar.
Attracted to the country by favourable government rebates, Cameron is serving as executive producer, with Australian Alister Grierson directing.
"I am actually coming down to the set in a couple of weeks and I am going to stay there through the underwater shoot," Cameron said.
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"They are doing great. Alister Grierson is a really talented director - his first film was Kokoda.
"I would be proud if that was my third film."
Sanctum tells of an expedition in an underwater cave that goes horribly wrong and is based on the experiences of Andrew Wight, the Australian who co-produced Cameron's aquatic documentaries.
Cameron said much of the success of Avatar could be laid at the feet of Australian star Sam Worthington.
"I think we chose well with Sam and I think his performance is the rock at the centre of the film," Cameron said. He said Worthington, who is signed for two Avatar sequels, had a combination of rugged charm and vulnerability that could make him one of the world's biggest stars.
"You put those two things together and it's an irresistible combination and that's why I think he is going to go all the way to the top of the whole stardom game if he chooses to do that," Cameron said.
Cameron poured cold water on internet rumours he would take over the Spider-Man franchise now that director Sam Raimi has walked away from Spider-Man 4.
"There was a time when Spider-Man was my favourite comic book hero and the film hadn't been made so it seemed like a great opportunity to me," he said. "But now it's been done - and maybe they can reinvent it, maybe they can't."