Maybe James Cameron will have to settle for just making movies.

Well, for now.

The science-minded filmmaker had been building a 3-D camera for Mars rover Curiosity that he said would give us a better look at the Red Planet.

But the Associated Press reported Friday that NASA is stopping work on the zoom camera because there won't be enough time to test it before Curiosity launches later this year.

The move calls to mind other Hollywood personalities who have offered their help on public-works projects, notably Kevin Costner developing a device that earlier this year he said could have capped the BP oil spill (it didn't). Cameron himself was part of a government "listening session" on the disaster.

The director did say in a statement Friday that he hopes the camera technology he's developing still will be used on future space missions. In the meantime, we suppose, we'll have to live with Curiosity's images of blue-faced Zoe Saldana lookalikes in 2-D only.

-- Steven Zeitchik

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