Avatar creator James Cameron has set his sights on China's booming film industry for his revolutionary 3D technology.
Cameron Pace Group - a 3D technology company co-founded by the award-winning director - is launching a joint venture with two Chinese state-backed companies to produce the advanced camera equipment needed for 3D filming.
The announcement comes as the fast-growing Chinese film market attracts Hollywood studios desperate to break into the profitable market.
"This is an enormous untapped market that is right on the verge of the transition from 2D to 3D," said Cameron. "This is the best place for us to create a kind of second home."
Its Chinese partners are Tianjin North Film Group, a state-owned film and television production company, and Tianjing Binhai Hi-Tech Development Group, which operates a technology park in Tianjin, a port city east of Beijing where the venture will be based.
Cameron and business partner Vince Pace said they are also in discussion over a potential collaboration with state broadcaster China Central Television on developing 3D TV.
At a time when US and European revenues are weak, the growing Chinese film market provides hope of growth for the global movie industry.
China's ticket sales rose by one-third last year to $2bn (£1.28bn) while revenue in North America, though still far larger at $10.2bn (£6.53bn), has fallen for two straight years.
DreamWorks Animation Ltd recently announced plans to make the next Kung Fu Panda movie in China with local partners.
Walt Disney Co said in April the third instalment in its Iron Man franchise will be co-produced with a Chinese partner.
The China venture will provide technology and support, rather than co-producing films, said Mr Pace.
He said: "We play a support role. We're there to help the expression of creativity and artistry."
The venture also will work on research, development and manufacturing of the company's equipment, which might lead to Chinese-developed technology being used in two planned Avatar sequels.
Cameron said: "We expect it to expand very rapidly, from initially maybe a handful of productions a year to, two or three years from now, we could be talking about thousands of hours of TV production. That's our goal, in any case."
Cameron's latest movie is about his seven-mile (11km) descent in a one-person submarine to the ocean's lowest known point. The Challenger Deep in the Pacific's Mariana Trench is due to be released in China next spring by Tianjin North Film Group in 3D.
For the past decade, China's state-run film distributors have allowed in only 20 foreign films per year for national distribution.
In March, the government announced it would allow in an additional 14 foreign films if they are made in 3D or Imax format.