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The Abyss is a 1989 science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron. It stars Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn. The original musical score was composed by Alan Silvestri. It was released on August 9, 1989 in the United States.
Underwater scenes were filmed in the containment building of Cherokee Nuclear Power Plant an unfinished nuclear power plant near Gaffney, South Carolina, in the United States. It took seven million gallons (26.5 million liters) of water to fill the tank to a depth of 40 feet (12 m), making it the largest underwater set ever. The depth and length of time spent underwater meant that the cast and crew sometimes had to go through decompression. Filming was also done at the largest underground lake in the world—a mine in Bonne Terre, Missouri, which was the background for several underwater shots. B movie maker Earl Owensby of Shelby, NC, provided facilities for set and production.
The official novelization of the same title was written by Orson Scott Card. As it was written concurrently with filming, Card's insight into the characters was often added to the script and to the actors' portrayals.