| 12.2°C Dublin

Titanic stars break the ice, this time in 3D

Oscar winner Kate Winslet and director James Cameron were in London for the red carpet premiere of a new, 3D version of 'Titanic' last night.

The movie shot Ms Winslet to worldwide fame after starring in the original 1997 film alongside actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Director James Cameron said that he was "plucked off my expedition ship" for the premiere, following his recent deep ocean descent off Pacific island Guam.

He said he thought of the epic movie as "a timeless classic".

The 3D conversion would allow fans to "revisit" the box-office blockbuster, he added.

"The big thrill of it isn't just the 3D," he said, "it's bringing it back to the big screen, where it has a lot more emotional impact".

Successful

The movie, which took two years to film, saw Ms Winslet play upper class socialite Rose DeWitt Bukater opposite Mr DiCaprio's third-class passenger Jack Dawson.

Until the release of 'Avatar' in 2009 -- also directed by Mr Cameron -- 'Titanic' was the most successful movie ever, with global takings of $1.843bn (€1.39bn).

'Avatar' went on to make $2.77bn (€2.07 bn).

Speaking of the 3D conversion, Mr Cameron said: "More than ever, you feel you're right there going through all the jeopardy that Jack and Rose go through."

"The 3D kicks the whole experience up to another level."

He added he would consider 3D versions of his other movies, including the first two 'Terminator' films, if they were considered economically viable.

Kate Winslet won the best actress Oscar for 'The Reader' in 2009, while 'Titanic' picked up 11 Oscars at the 1998 Academy Awards.

Shortly before midnight on 14 April 1912, the passenger liner struck an iceberg on its way from Southampton to New York.

It sank less than three hours later, killing 1,517 people.

Earlier this week Mr Cameron used a specially designed submarine, called Deepsea Challenger, to dive nearly seven miles below the surface of the Pacific.

He reached the ocean's deepest point on Earth -- a place where only two men had gone before -- early on Sunday, local time. The descent took him to the Mariana Trench.

The story of the ship, which was on its way from Southampton to New York, has inspired countless books and films and a new mini series made by Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes has just debuted on ITV.

There are replica ships in Tennessee and Missouri, graveyard tours in New York and Nova Scotia, travelling exhibits from Las Vegas to Atlanta, and two brand new museums in Belfast and Southampton.

Irish Independent