"Well, I've lived on this planet all my life, and I've never been to the Mariana Trench. I figured it was about time!"
Avatar director James Cameron has safely returned from his trip to the Mariana Trench at the bottom of the sea. He is now the first person ever to have made a solo dive to the Challenger Deep, the lowest known point of the Earth's crust, which is 36,000 feet, or seven miles, beneath the surface of the ocean.
It was understood that the trip, which is a fulfilment of a lifelong dream for Cameron, was partly in order to gather inspiration for Avatar 2. The second epic sci-fi is reportedly going to concentrate on the oceans of Pandora, the mineral-rich neon jungle planet of the blue Na'vi people.
While his experiences in the trench (which is bigger than the Grand Canyon) may have impressed Cameron, it looks as though he will have to return to the magical landscape of his own imagination to really flesh out the Pandoran sea-scapes. Cameron has spoken to reporters of what he discovered while in the briny deep:
"When I got to the bottom...it was completely featureless and uniform. My feeling was one of complete isolation from all humanity...More than anything, (it's) realising how tiny you are down in this big, vast, black, unknown and unexplored place."
Apparently the only living creatures he clapped his eyes on down there were a few shrimp-like arthropods. The dull crustaceans and featureless underwater wastelands of our own planet will surely not be enough to inspire an ocean world exciting and colourful enough to look good in on an IMAX screen in three dimensions. Although, having said that, the footage of Cameron's expedition is indeed being turned into a 3D documentary, which will receive a theatrical release.
Interesting as our planet is, I think I'll be giving that one a miss and waiting for Avatar 2, which is scheduled for release in 2016 or thereabouts (was supposed to be 2014, but that darn Trench got in the way). I'm expecting coral formations the size of buildings, burning red sharks with four eyes, and glow-in-the-dark fish brighter than the sun. Anything less would just be a cop out.
Also, I wonder if Jake's starting to miss TV yet. I mean, you can only sit around watching those floating seed things for so long, right?