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Sea beckons to Cameron

Johnstone will direct 3-D 'Sanctum' for Rogue

Rogue Pictures has pacted with James Cameron to co-write and produce “James Cameron’s Sanctum,” a live-action drama to be shot next spring in high-definition 3-D.

Gary Johnstone will direct the pic revolving around a deep-sea diving team headed by a father and son. When the team heads to uncharted depths, a life-threatening crisis occurs.

Cameron is rewriting the script with John Garvin.

Despite the ambitious technology and undersea storyline, the film will be budgeted in the low $20 millions. Johnstone has collaborated numerous times with Cameron, sharing directing duties on the TV documentary “Expedition: Bismarck.”

While Cameron is preparing to direct “Avatar,” a 3-D drama that is his first dramatic feature since “Titanic,” he’ll be actively involved in “Sanctum.” Cameron will produce it with Andrew Wight through Earthship Prods., the Cameron shingle that specializes in 3-D productions.

Pic comes amid a flurry of high- profile deals at Rogue, the genre arm of Focus Features. Co-presidents Andrew Karpen and Andrew Rona recently made an overall deal with Wes Craven to direct an original and produce remakes that include “The Last House on the Left.”

Rogue just closed an overall deal with Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes to produce horror remakes that will include a redo of “Near Dark.” Latter deal came after Platinum Dunes produced a Rogue remake of “The Hitcher,” to be released in April.

Endeavor Independent mobilized the financing on behalf of Cameron.

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