Though the roiled production of Titanic — James Cameron’s $200 million-plus disaster epic — was itself something of a shipwreck, it may have a happy ending. With the movie’s opening still two months away, more than a dozen fan sites have surfaced on the Net. And that may be just the tip of the good-vibes iceberg. This early groundswell of enthusiasm, if not exactly oceanic, is unusual, considering that the studio’s own promo website won’t be operational until Nov. 7. Movie buffs are spilling their popcorn over Titanic because of Cameron’s reputation for F/X wizardry, the mysterious and costly delays in filming, and the rapturous buzz from those who have seen early screenings.
The Titanic sites, which can be found through any search engine, try to provide juicy tidbits from behind the scenes (witness pages by bit players Alex Humphrey, Adam Barker, and Natalia Giret — Kate Winslet’s photo double). There are sites with trailers, access to Titanic historical consultant Kit Bonner, and photos from the set. Meanwhile, a Countdown to Titanic site (http://www.geocities.com/hollywood/lot/6235/) tracks the days, hours, and even minutes to the premiere.
In a bid to link all the sites, Peter Miller, a sophomore computer-science major at Northern Illinois University, launched a Titanic ”Webring” on Aug. 12 (http://www.geocities.com/ Hollywood/Hills/3162/titanic_ webring.html). Says Miller, ”I’m hoping Paramount and Fox will consider joining my ring once the official site goes live.” He says he was inspired to post his page because he’s a devotee of the director. ”If there’s one person who can tell a story,” he says, ”it’s James Cameron.” Such fervent fans just may keep this Titanic afloat.