James Cameron has a lot of questions about science fiction—big ones, like How will the world end? and Will technology destroy us? and What does it mean to be human? While he has explored many of these existential quandaries in films from The Terminator to Avatar, now the filmmaker is coming at these questions a different way: For AMC’s new docuseries James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, he’ll sit down with directors, actors, and storytellers to discuss how some of sci-fi’s greatest stories got made as well as how the genre continues to grow and influence (and be influenced by) present day.
Among the guests for this six-episode series are George Lucas, Sigourney Weaver, and more than one Tor Books/Tor.com Publishing author: Annalee Newitz (Autonomous), Ken Liu (translator of The Three-Body Problem Trilogy and Invisible Planets), and Nnedi Okorafor (Binti) will all appear on-camera to tackle one or more of the series’ “Big Questions.” According to the series description from AMC, each episode will revolve around one of these:
From the acclaimed filmmaker behind legendary sci-fi films The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Avatar, this documentary series explores the evolution of sci-fi from its origins as a small genre with a cult following to the blockbuster pop-cultural phenomenon we know today. In each episode, James Cameron introduces one of the “Big Questions” that humankind has contemplated throughout the ages and reaches back into sci-fi’s past to better understand how our favorite films, TV shows, books, and video games were born. Cameron and his contemporaries—Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ridley Scott and many more who have helped fuel sci-fi’s spectacular growth over the last several decades—debate the merits, meanings, and impacts of the films and novels that influenced them and discuss where the genre—and our species—might be going in the future.
The teaser, which features Guillermo del Toro, Zoe Saldana, Keanu Reeves, and more, gives you a sense of what some of those Big Questions might be:
James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction premieres Monday, April 30 at 10 p.m. EST on AMC.
Annalee Newitz photo credit: Jonathan Wilkins
Ken Liu photo credit: Ken Liu