James Cameron loves the water, but he won’t be diving into the story of the OceanGate submersible anytime soon. The director of “Avatar” and “Titanic” has denied false reports that he is developing a new project based on the explosion of the submarine Titan.
On Thursday, British tabloid The Sun ran an “exclusive” story claiming Cameron is in talks with a major streaming service to direct a drama series based on the Titan’s destruction in June. In a tweet on Saturday, Cameron denied the story, calling it an “insulting” rumor and saying he will never direct any OceanGate projects.
“I usually don’t respond to hurtful rumors in the media, but now I need to,” Cameron wrote. “I’m NOT talking about an OceanGate movie, nor will I ever be.”
A submarine operated by American marine tourism and shipping company OceanGate, Titan went missing for four days while carrying 5 passengers, including OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, on an expedition to see the wreck of the Titanic. On June 22, debris from the vessel was discovered on the ocean floor and all passengers were pronounced dead. The Titan’s disappearance garnered global attention, and controversy over OceanGate’s poor security precautions caused the company to halt all operations.
Cameron, who famously dramatized the sinking of the Titanic in his 1997 film, is an expert in deep sea exploration, becoming the first person to solo dive the Challenger Deep, the deepest known point of seabed on Earth, in 2012. After the Titan’s passengers were pronounced dead, Cameron released a statement about the tragedy criticizing Rush and OceanGate for their reckless safety practices.
“I am struck by the similarity of the Titanic disaster itself, in which the captain was repeatedly warned of ice ahead of his ship, yet went at full speed into an ice field on a moonless night. And a lot of people have died as a result, and for a very similar tragedy, where warnings have gone unheeded, that took place on the exact same site, with all the diving happening all over the world, I think it’s just amazing.” said Cameron. ‘It’s really quite surreal and obviously PH (Paul-Henry Nargeolet), the legendary French scuba diving pilot, is a friend of mine. It’s a very small community. I’ve known PH for 25 years because he died tragically. this way is almost impossible for me to process.
Currently, Cameron doesn’t have much time to work on an OceanGate film, as his priorities are largely on Pandora. The director’s third film ‘Avatar’ will be released in December 2025, followed by ‘Avatar 4’ in 2029, 20 years after the release of the original film.