Nearly 15 years after "Titanic" became the biggest movie ever to grace the silver screen, director James Cameron has expanded his blockbuster into the third dimension.
On April 4, "Titanic" sets sail in 3-D after a painstaking conversion that Cameron believes enhances the picture's overall effect. MTV News spoke with the director in London, on the red carpet for the U.K. premiere of the re-release, which hits theaters days before the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking.
"It's really a dream come true to get this film back into cinema because it just has a whole different effect on people when they take three hours out of their life to just sit and have the unbroken experience and let the story take them along," Cameron said. "It can be quite a profoundly emotional experience, and you're not going to get that watching it on video. The 3-D just enhances the whole thing. It takes it to a whole different level. "
Cameron decided to begin the process in 2005, while he was prepping his next ambitious project, "Avatar."
"I was pretty convinced at that time that 3-D was really going to transform the cinema experience. I wanted cinema owners, the exhibitors, to embrace the conversion to digital projection, so that there'd be a place to show 3-D movies," Cameron said. "I was thinking of 'Avatar,' but I was also saying, 'Look, we can do films like "Titanic." We can take "Jaws," "Star Wars," whatever your favorite movies are, we can convert them to 3-D and give them a whole new life.' So we started doing test to see what a conversion of 'Titanic' would look like. We did a minute and a half of it, and it looked spectacular. "
The 3-D re-release offered Cameron the opportunity to reflect on what made "Titanic" a worldwide sensation. Cameron said he feels that it didn't have everything to do with the movie's young star Leonardo DiCaprio.
"Women could relate to it, not just because of the Leo-mania thing, but because a lot of young women struggle with the sense of identity in societal expectation. The character of Rose was really written very much about those ideas," Cameron said. "I think it was a simplification after the fact that [DiCaprio] is why women were so attracted to the movie."