James Cameron to re-dedicate himself to the Battle Angel movie

It is with optimistic feelings that I bring to you the news that right after he shoots a sequel to Avatar — and hopefully brings some closure to those who are “suffering” from post-Avatar depression — James Cameron is finally going to start work on the live-action version of Battle Angel Alita.

In a conversation with Larry Carroll at MTV’s Splash Page.com blog, Cameron’s producing partner Jon Landau revealed that because Avatar is to Cameron what Star Wars is to George Lucas, Cameron had always intended to make that movie first, but is now looking to continue further development on the manga/anime-turned-movie (which may be retitled Alita: Battle Angel, although Landau could have been joking):

[Alita] is something that Jim is very, very passionate about. It was actually brought to our attention by another filmmaker, Guillermo del Toro; Guillermo saw those things in the property that he thought would really relate to Jim, and Jim responded to it immediately.


We had a wonderful writer who came in and collaborated with Jim, Laeta Kalogridis [Night Watch, Shutter Island], who worked on it; Laeta brought to our attention that there was much more to this world of Battle Angel than we ever knew… We were familiar with the anime that had been produced, we were familiar with one of the main books. But she opened us up to the other nine books that exist, and how rich that world is.

The fact that Cameron and Landau are going deeper into the well of the Alita universe to find a good plot is fantastic news and as much as I disliked Avatar for its paper-thin plot, inconsistent characterization, and inconsistent theme (scroll to the last bit before the update), I’m excited to see Cameron’s latest technical and movie wizardry applied to an anime series I really liked.

I think in this case, how the movie shakes out will rest completely on the screenwriter’s head and hands; if Kalogridis remains the sole screenwriter and can apply the same kind of reverence towards the source material as Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyen did towards the Lord of the Rings books, we may have a winner.

Posted on February 19, 2010 at 16:11 by Trisha Lynn · Permalink
In: News

6 Responses

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  1. Written by kennethe
    on 2010-02-20 at 03:06

    This article seems to believe that Battle Angel will be Cameron's next project, when other blogs are claiming the opposite. Don't get me wrong: there is nothing more I'd like to see than Battle Angel being next (as I dispise the idea of an Avatar sequal).

    Do you know if Jon Landau ACTUALLY said that Avatar 2 is coming first? Because this sounds rediculous to me. Why greenlight a film that does not have a script yet, and that Cameron had lackluster feelings toward directing? Why greenlight a film that has no real reason to be made in the first place (as the first Avatar ended quite nicely) when Battle Angel has over 9 volumes of manga goodness to explore?

  2. Written by Gordon McAlpin
    on 2010-02-20 at 03:55

    I think Trisha Lynn's headline is a bit misleading, too, but the very first sentence says Battle Angel is coming after the Avatar sequel. How is that the “opposite” of what anybody else is reporting?

    And as far as “no real reason to be made,” Avatar was always envisioned as a trilogy. He's talked about it that way since 2006, at least: http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1535402

    So I think there's a good chance the story already exists in some form, even if it's just a treatment.

  3. Written by P Elfman
    on 2010-02-21 at 12:43

    It's a good thing this news was released now instead of April 1st; it's only barely credible now. Cameron has become known as the bottomless production pit of properties. He's been throwing “Battle Angel Alita” around the press for years, and after “Avatar” hit I was convinced he was doing that to throw people off the scent. Don't get me wrong, “Avatar” got my money $3. But I'll sooner believe Cameron is also behind the new Spider-Man movie before I look at this news with anything but the most skeptical of eyes. As it stands, he makes what, 2 movies a decade? He's already stated he's going to make the “Avatar” sequel (which I personally think is a mistake. Then again, “Terminator 2” kicked cinema patuti so maybe I should shut up) first, so the best we can look for is a “Battle Angel Alita” release around 2018. And not that this is any sort of incentive for him, but if he DOES actually get this thing made, I'll see that sucker opening night.

  4. Written by Gordon McAlpin
    on 2010-02-21 at 15:58

    To be fair, he didn't just make one movie in the twelve years since Titanic: he made one feature film, one TV pilot (Dark Angel), and three documentaries in twelve years, and he developed an awful lot of 3D and motion capture technology in that period of time, too.

    Aside from some toying around with the underlying motion capture technology, production on Avatar only began in earnest in early 2006, so it took about four years to actually take from script to screen. An Avatar sequel could very easily be made faster and cheaper, as Cameron has said he wants it to be.

    Before Avatar, he took about 3 years to make a movie. Now that he's actually back in the director's saddle again, I don't think it's unrealistic to expect Avatar 2 in 3-4 years. The hardest effects technology has been developed: the 3-D and the Na'Vi themselves. The rest is easy.

  5. Written by P Elfman
    on 2010-02-21 at 16:39

    Yes, you're right, there were a lot of other things going on besides just making the film “Avatar,” I grant you. But that is actually my point; He's had the “Battle Angel Alita” property for the entire time. Entertainment Weekly even ran a bit some years ago (years!) about how it was going to be his next big thing. Even now when he announces it (again!) as an impending project, it's already stipulated that he's going to do something else first. How many “oh let me do this one thing first” projects are going to come down the pipe this time? That's all I'm saying. I also submit his Spider-Man project, which he had before Sony got their mitts on it. “Titanic” came out during that time, and while he was sitting on the Spider-Man property, he was also making IMAX movies about the actual Titanic and other undersea documentation, as well as taking trips down to see the actual boat.

    So yeah. You only get to cry “Battle Angel Alita” a few times before we (or at least I) lose enthusiasm.

  6. Written by doo-doo master
    on 2010-03-12 at 01:15

    Cameron, add some Guillermo insight, and “i always wondered if he saw it” re-intro the anime and dig into the OTHER 9 BOOKS…WOOOOOW!!! i have faith in Cameron since “abyss” and “aliens”….man!…only way it could be FU@KED UP is if you pander to our increasingly wussy P.C society and go PG13 on this instead of R…unfortunately this is highly probable…why? you guessed it $$$$$$$. but they need to realize parents are IDIOTS these days and take their kids to R movies all the time! you'll still make money!! here's hoping for the best..what do yall think? 2013-14 release …that sucks

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