James Cameron is handing The Dive over to Martin Campbell, award-winning director of multiple James Bond adventures (including the winning franchise reboot Casino Royale) and last summer’s Green Lantern, Deadline reports.
Cameron must be tied up with Titanic 3D or Avatar sequel prep, because Dive sounds like a passion project that would be right in the Oscar-winning director creative wheelhouse. Based on factual events, Dive reportedly tells the story of husband-and-wife free-divers Francisco “Pipin” Ferraras and Audrey Mestre. The two would dive to unimaginable depths on a single breath. But during an effort to break her world record, Audrey lost her life.
Free-divers plunge into the ocean by holding on to weighted sleds. They then race back to the surface with the help of inflated lift bags. Like most extreme sports, it’s considered very dangerous. Cameron has been circling the story for some time now, even shopping a treatment that had Salma Hayek in the Audrey role at one point. Deadline even notes that the Titanic filmmaker recorded a dive Ferraras completed in his wife’s honor. Sounds like Campbell has an emotional ending waiting in the wings, if Cameron permits him to use some of that footage in the finished film.
20th Century Fox will distribute The Dive, with Campbell directing from a screenplay by J. Michael Straczynski (Changling, Underworld: Awakening). The screenwriter will take his cues from Ferraras’ 2004 autobiography The Dive: A Story of Love and Obsession, though it's Campbell’s ability to mine human emotion and Cameron’s cutting-edge techniques for filming underwater that will help sell tickets to this drama, once it finally finds its way to theaters.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.