Los Angeles - James Cameron on Friday unveiled the first scenes from his new 3D version of the mega-blockbuster hit Titanic, the second biggest earner in film history, ahead of its April 2012 release.
Cameron and producer Jon Landau showed 18 minutes of film in the huge screening room at Paramount Studios - the only major motion picture studio left in old Hollywood.
"This a film that many people have seen, obviously, sometimes multiple times, but there is a whole generation of people who haven't seen it in theatres," Cameron said.
"I love the 3D, I think it's spectacular. If I had had 3D cameras at the time, if there had been 3D theatres at the time, I would certainly have shot the film in 3D."
Highest-grossing film of all time
Titanic - which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as star-crossed lovers aboard the ill-fated passenger steamship that struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank in 1912 - was first released in 1997.
The film earned more than $1.8bn worldwide and 11 Oscars including Best Picture and a Best Director statuette for Cameron.
It remained the highest-grossing film of all time until Cameron's Avatar shattered the record with more than $2.8bn in worldwide receipts.
"I do believe that there is an array of 10 or 20 movies - think of the best movies of all times - that should be converted in 3D, but it has to be done right," Cameron said.
"I firmly believe that 3D is an enhancement even for just normal, narrative scenes, not necessarily the action scenes," he said.
"That feeling that you're right there, actually with characters, enhances the emotional interaction between the audience and the film."
He however admitted that Titanic for him would only become a film in "2.99D" as opposed to one originally filmed in 3D.
The 3D version of Titanic will hit theatres in North America on April 6, 2012, four days before the 100th anniversary of the ship's doomed maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.