LONDON — “Titanic” director James Cameron hit the red carpet in London on Tuesday for the launch of the Oscar-winning film’s 3D version, as the 100th anniversary of the legendary ship’s sinking approaches.
The US filmmaker jetted into the British capital fresh from his seven-mile (11.2 kilometre) submarine dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the ocean’s deepest point.
He was joined on the red carpet by the film’s British star Kate Winslet and US actor Billy Zane for the premiere at the Royal Albert Hall.
“The 3D enriches all of Titanic’s most thrilling moments and its most emotional moments,” Cameron said on the red carpet.
“More than ever, you feel you’re right there going through all the jeopardy that Jack and Rose go through.”
Cameron dived the wreck 12 times before filming the original, saying it “had a huge impact” on the end result.
“We shot the real wreck — we didn’t just build models of it,” he explained, adding that he told set-builders: “It’s got to be exactly like you went back in a time machine and you were on the deck of the Titanic.”
The Avatar director completed his dive of the Mariana Trench, about 200 miles southwest of the Pacific island of Guam, on Sunday morning local time, and revealed it had given him fresh inspiration.
“My interest in things like ‘Avatar’ — creating new worlds — all comes from my curiosity about our world, right here. Every bit of diving I’ve done feeds into the films that I’ve made.
“I felt like I was completely remote from the entire human race,” he added. “I was literally seeing something that no-one’s ever seen. It was a very bleak, very barren place.”
Winslet played socialite Rose DeWitt Bukater alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, who played male lead Jack Dawson, in the dramatisation of the disaster that claimed more than 1,000 lives in 1912.
The new release comes 15 year after the original, which won 11 Oscars.
“It is a long time ago and it also feels like yesterday,” Winslet told Sky News. “It completely changed my life and it gave me the opportunity to make creative choices.
“It’s really great to celebrate it all over again. It’s a very different experience, you really do feel as though you’re on the boat, the water rushing round you,” she added.
DiCaprio was unable to attend the event due to work commitments, Winslet said.