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“Titanic” director James Cameron to descend into the ocean’s deepest, the Mariana Trench

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As a man with a penchant for breaking worldwide box office records, Writer/Director/Producer James Cameron is set to take on another venture that has the potential to bring about unprecedented results. Within the next few weeks, James Cameron will plunge into the depths of the Pacific Ocean, a dive that measures up to a daunting 6.8 miles, boldly going deeper than any man has gone before on a solo mission: an abyss known as the Mariana Trench.

With the two highest-grossing films of all time under his belt in “Avatar” and “Titanic,” a colossal duo of epic movies that collectively raked in $4.62 billion at the box office and 14 Academy Awards, James Cameron is a man who needs no introduction. Just in case you have been living under a rock, Cameron is a Canadian filmmaker whose credits also include “Aliens,” “The Terminator,” “Dark Angel,” and fittingly enough, “The Abyss.” As a heads up, if in fact you have been living under a rock, Cameron will want your phone number to document your life story, which will likely make over a billion dollars at the box office. He’s that good.

As good as he is, however, he is not unaware of the dangers lurking at the bottom of the sea:

“When you’re making movie, everybody’s read the script… When you’re on an expedition, nature hasn’t read the script yet, the ocean hasn’t read the script yet, and no one knows what’s going to happen next,” says Director and Explorer James Cameron, “The deep trenches are the last unexplored frontier on our planet, with scientific riches enough to fill 100 years of exploration.”

In preparation for his plunge into the Pacific, James Cameron went for a test dive off the coast of Papua New Guinea, already breaking records by going 5.1 miles deep into the ocean, a first for any solo oceanic mission. Essentially, the Mariana Trench dive will be an attempt to do what he did by following up “Titanic” with “Avatar”: an attempt to break his own record.

The last time anybody hit the bottom of the Mariana Trench, an area known as Challenge Deep, was over 50 years ago, when a U.S. Naval Lieutenant and a Swiss Oceanographer spent 20 minutes there in 1960. Unfortunately, the only footage they were able to capture was the debris from the ocean floor, floating up to obstruct the view of the camera after they had made their landing.

Well into the 21st century, Cameron’s descent will be aboard a more futuristic submersible, armed with 3D high definition cameras, LED lights, a pilot sphere, and a lime-green exterior designed to withstand the extreme pressure of the ocean depths. It’s as if Cameron’s deep-sea diving machine was pulled straight out of one of his blockbusters. The aptly named Deepsea Challenger is expected to last up to 6 hours on the ocean floor, not only to collect data for geological and zoological purposes, but also to chronicle his entire expedition and bring home insane footage of the mysterious world that lies beneath.

Whether he finds the Heart of the Ocean is doubtful. If his deep-sea adventure proves successful, however, it will indeed make a strong case for his proclamation as “King of the World.”

Photo by jurvetson on flickr.com

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