James Cameron wants separate streaming and theatrical cuts of his movies

“Let’s use these platforms in ways that haven’t been done before”

James Cameron has said he wants to make two versions of his movies, one designed for cinemas and the other for streaming services.

The director, known for films like Titanic, Aliens and The Terminator, discussed the potential of streaming services with Dune director Denis Villeneuve in Variety’s Directors On Directors feature.

Speaking about pushing the medium forward, Cameron said: “I think what we can see is an expanded form of cinema. I want to do a movie that’s six hours long and two and a half hours long at the same time. Same movie.

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“You can stream it for six hours, or you can go and have a more condensed, roller coaster, immersive version of that experience in a movie theatre. Same movie. Just, one’s the novel, and one’s the movie.

“Why not? Let’s just use these platforms in ways that haven’t been done before.”

Denis Villeneuve
Denis Villeneuve at the ‘Dune’ premiere. CREDIT: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Villeneuve, however, was optimistic the language of cinema would stay separate from television.

“I think that we need this kind of massive, immersive, physical [experience] – the sound, with Atmos system or IMAX, it becomes physical,” Villeneuve said. “It’s something that cannot be reproduced at home.

“There’s nothing more powerful than to share an emotion together in a theatre. I think that as humans we need that kind of connection. I think we are not meant to be isolated. So I’m optimistic. I hope that the language of cinema will not become too much like TV.”

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Cameron is currently working on four sequels to 2009’s Avatar, with the first set to be released in December, 2022.

Following the success of Dune this year, Villeneuve’s next film will be a sequel Dune: Part Two scheduled to be released October, 2023.

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