Terminator 2: Judgment Day, James Cameron's epic on the ultimate conflict between man and intelligent machines, will be re-released into cinemas by the middle of 2017, with several of its boundary-breaking scenes converted into 3D. This was unveiled in the Berlin Film Festival, followed by a Facebook Q and A with the visionary himself.
According to The Irish Times, Alan Greenberg, Cameron's now 80-year-old director of photography in the movie, came on board and converted the 4K negatives into 3D.
This would not be an ordinary 3D rendering. Cameron has elevated the art along with virtual reality to new heights in his film Avatar. Part of the reason he did this remastering was to re-introduce Terminator 2 to a younger audience who had seen it only on the small screens through cable,TV, or DVD.
Cameron himself is proud of the finished conversion. As he said in the Facebook Q and A:
"I think the overall quality of the film, the quality of the presentation; we worked very hard on good 3D. We started with a 4K transfer, then we did a degraining process, so it actually looks better, even if you watch it in 2D it would look better than it did on the day."
Asked if his other sci-fi films would go through 3D conversion, Cameron admitted he would be more than open to it. However, the decision would come down to a matter of economics. He said:
I'd love to see ‘The Abyss,' I'd love to see ‘Aliens.' It gets down to a matter of economics really, the ‘Titanic' release was very successful, we made $440 million dollars re-releasing ‘Titanic' in 3D, so if we make some reasonable amount of money with the ‘T2' re-release and we start to feel confident – we can start looking at some of the other films as well, if we think there's a market there or if we think, you know, if this demonstrates that, it sort of becomes a vanity project then I probably wouldn't do it."
The man certainly has a penchant for the spectacular but "vanity projects" are the last things his movies end up becoming. "Inspiration" is more likely the better word. Cameron himself is not above it, and still finds himself encouraged and emboldened by his colleagues especially among the new generation of directors.
Still, Aliens and The Abyss would certainly give us a more immersive experience if they were done in 3D. Maybe we wouldn't look at the ocean water or alien conflict the same way again.
Watch the Q and A with James Cameron in the clip below.
The 3D version of Terminator 2: Judgment Day will be released on August 25, 2017/ It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, and Linda Hamilton, and is directed by James Cameron.