Never let it be said that James Cameron doesn’t give it everything he’s got when he undertakes a project. After making Titanic in 1997, he also expanded upon his deep sea diving expeditions for several documentaries on the subject – contributing to the development of new technology, and breaking records. When he made Avatar, he developed no fewer than four sequels to tell a broader story – and plans to shoot them consecutively from 2018 to 2023. Before he gets to that, however, he will deliver a six-part documentary series to AMC, focusing on the genre of science fiction – James Cameron’s Story Of Science Fiction, to be precise – about which he is so very passionate.
The limited series will comprise of six hour-long episodes, and each instalment will ask a single question. The show will then examine how that question has been addressed by popular culture, such as film, television, video games, and books. James Cameron will serve as host for each episode, and it is expected that many of his fellow filmmaking icons will feature among the onscreen debates about the various ways in which science fiction has sought to answer existential queries.
Cameron himself explained the premise to The Hollywood Reporter and said the following:
“When I was a kid, I basically read any book with a spaceship on the cover and I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey many, many times. The movie inspired me to become a filmmaker. I liked the special effects, but I really loved the ideas and the questions behind them: How will the world end? Will technology destroy us? What does it mean to be human?
“These are subjects sci-fi has never been afraid to tackle. With this series, we are going back to the origins of sci-fi, following the DNA of these ideas back to the source. Without Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, there wouldn’t have been Ray Bradbury or Robert A. Heinlein, and without them, there wouldn’t be [George] Lucas, [Steven] Spielberg, Ridley Scott or me. As a filmmaker who specializes in science fiction, I’m interested in exploring the struggles and the triumphs that brought these incredible stories to life and seeing how art imitates life, as well as how science fiction imitates and sometimes informs science.”
James Cameron has previously enjoyed a great deal of success in the arena of documentaries. The 2002 Discovery Channel film James Cameron’s Expedition: Bismarck won a Prime Time Emmy, while Disney’s Ghosts Of The Abyss became a hugely popular 3D documentary in 2003. In 2005, he also delivered Aliens Of The Deep – another 3D hit – with the help of NASA. Given that the name ‘James Cameron’ has become synonymous with excellence in documentary film, as well as being closely associated with science fiction, thanks to his narrative feature films, it is safe to assume that James Cameron’s Story Of Science Fiction will also be a great project for AMC when it arrives in 2018.