Titanic director talks games

Games and movies collide again.

Terminator and Titanic writer/director James Cameron is getting immersed in the virtual world of MMO games and may be taking his first active role in a videogame adaptation of one of his new movies.

According to Hollywood producer and long-term Cameron collaborator Jon Landau, the director has signed up with him to be on the advisory board for MMO game network, Multiverse – which provides budding developers with the tools to create online games and worlds. This was announced at the Austin Game Conference this week and reported on GameSpot.

There have already been rumours surfacing of Cameron and Landau working together on an interactive version of upcoming movie Avatar (a love story set against the backdrop of an interplanetary war – or Star Wars, Cameron-style), and the director is well known as a tech-head who has pushed the envelope of special effects in the past with Terminator 2, The Abyss and Titanic. In recent years, he has been heavily involved in working with the latest 3D technology to enhance the cinema experience. Are MMO games the next logical step for the maverick director and his peers?

“It turns out films and MMOs are not that different,” explained Cameron’s pal Landau. “That shouldn’t be too surprising though. After all, what we do as filmmakers is create virtual worlds. Both our industries build experiences that have the same goals.”

But what about the traditional dirge of movie tie-ins gamers are relentlessly subjected to? Could the more hands-on involvement of a director like Cameron take us in more imaginative directions, like those already paved by Peter Jackson with his Michel Ancel-designed take on King Kong?

“We’re way beyond the notion of game-as-brand-extending-afterthought,” added Landau. “Let the virtual world – the vibrant, living world that people inhabit – let that influence the movie. Let it feedback into the process and provide unparalleled riches and depth to what we’re doing.”

So that’s a maybe then…

Avatar the movie is due out in 2008.

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