James Cameron is a wealthy man. In 2009, he made $350 million from Avatar alone, more than the GDP of at least fourteen countries. God only knows how much money he's still making off of The Terminator, Terminator 2, Aliens, Titanic - the list goes on. So what do you do when you're one of the wealthiest people in the world? Some people take luxury vacations in space. James Cameron wants to travel 7 miles underwater to the very bottom of the ocean floor.
According to Cinematical, the increasingly eccentric director has commissioned a team of Australian engineers to design and build a submarine capable of taking him to the floor of the Challenger Deep, the lowest section of the Mariana Trench and the deepest location on Earth at around 36,000 feet below sea level. The pressure at such a depth would be crushing - over 8 tonnes per square inch - far beyond the capabilities of even the most advanced Russian military subs, which can handle only 1,600 pounds per square inch.
There's really no better place to start filming Avatar 2.
Yes, crazy as it sounds, Cameron looks to be trying to outdo Avatar's quarter billion dollar budget by filming material for the sequel at the deepest place on Earth - all in glorious 3D, naturally. While no details about Avatar 2 have been revealed, it is known that Cameron plans to explore Pandora's ocean environments in his follow-up to the biggest movie of all time.
While this isn't the first time Cameron has expressed interest in the oceans' depths - he directed the underwater documentary Aliens of the Deep in 2005 - traveling to the floor of the Challenger Deep to film establishing shots for a movie that's going to be 90% CGI anyway seems pretty ridiculous. Then again, I don't have hundreds of millions of dollars to throw away on a custom designed, personal submarine fleet, so I'm not exactly an expert on the subject.
Still, maybe some good will come of Cameron's newfound eccentricity. If only we could convince James Cameron to shoot Avatar 3 on the Moon, maybe we could finally get the space program going again. Stranger things have happened.