Tuesday, August 2, 2022

pitches for new James Cameron documentaries

Starting with Piranha II: The Spawning in 1982 and ending with True Lies in '94, James Cameron directed six feature films in a dozen years. His follow-up to True Lies, 1997's Titanic, broke box-office records and won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. But over the next dozen years, Cameron directed only one other feature film, 2009's Avatar, which ended up breaking Titanic's box-office records.

He did, however, direct two deep-sea documentaries in the meantime: Ghosts of the Abyss (2003) and Aliens of the Deep (2005). Both nonfiction films' titles echo those of previous fiction films of Cameron's: respectively, 1989's The Abyss and 1986's Aliens, the first of many sequels and prequels to, and spin-offs of, 1979's Alien.

But Cameron still has two titles from his pre-Titanic days that haven't been exploited yet. I think the following documentary would be an excellent addition to the Discovery Channel's "Shark Week" event next year:

The Terminator of Other Fish and Sometimes People

Has Cameron ever thought about making a film that can be shown in sex-education classes? Here's a water-based idea:

'You Can’t Get Pregnant If You Do It in a Pool' ... and Other True Lies

Unlike the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, I don't remember the Montara oil spill off the coast of western Australia in '09 getting a ton of press coverage in this part of the Northern Hemisphere. But I think at least one documentary-title pitch for Cameron should acknowledge the post-True Lies phase of his career, so how about ...

'Ave a Tar Fish, Mate: The Untold Story of the Gusher Down Under

It doesn't hurt that Tar Fish also happen to be piranha-like creatures in the video game Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat, recalling the low-budget roots of Cameron's filmography. But I'm hoping "'Ave a Tar Fish, Mate" will cost upwards of $200 million for no reason whatsoever. You can't go home again.

Avatar: The Way of Water, the first of four planned sequels to the 2009 original—actually, I guess you can go home again (and again and again and again)—is set to be released this December, eight years after it was originally announced to hit theaters, because it takes a lot of expensive, state-of-the-art computer animation to make water look wet.