Each film he directs is more epic than the last. Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Titanic…and, of course, Avatar. That last film, a 3-D extravaganza that quickly became the highest-grossing movie of all time, was re-released August 27 with nine additional minutes of footage. Cameron spoke to TIME’s Rebecca Keegan — author of The Futurist: The Life and Films of James Cameron — about the films that have most influenced his work.The Wizard of Oz, 2001, Jason and the Argonauts — he definitely has a love for the fantastical. (More on Techland: See a review of the new Avatar footage.)
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