James Cameron's new Avatar plans may doom his Battle Angel project

Contributed by
Jun 25, 2015

It wasn't even a month ago that we heard James Cameron say he was still stoked to do a big-screen adaptation of the manga Battle Angel Alita as soon as he's done with the Avatar trilogy. But now the blockbuster king's plans for his golden franchise seem to be expanding in a big way. Is Battle Angel doomed?

Last we heard, Cameron was committed to doing Avatar first simply because he can "see the good" that franchise can do in terms of its environmental message. But Battle Angel was still very much on his mind, so much so that he said the only way another director would get their hands on the project is if it were "pried out of [his] cold dead fingers."

But a lengthy new interview with the New York Times reveals that Cameron seems to be changing his tune. When asked if he's looking at scripts for future projects, Cameron went the long way to saying no.

"I've divided my time over the last 16 years over deep ocean exploration and filmmaking. I've made two movies in 16 years, and I've done eight expeditions. Last year I basically completely disbanded my production company's development arm. So I'm not interested in developing anything. I'm in the Avatar business. Period. That's it. I'm making Avatar 2, Avatar 3, maybe Avatar 4, and I'm not going to produce other people's movies for them. I'm not interested in taking scripts."

Well, that Avatar 4 bit is good news for fans who can't get enough of Pandora, but anyone who was hoping Cameron would turn his camera to other big projects sometime in the future just got their hopes dashed. So why would one of the most successful filmmakers of all time basically announce that he's retiring apart from a single pet franchise? Simple: Avatar is all he needs now.

"And that all sounds I suppose a little bit restricted, but the point is I think within the Avatar landscape I can say everything I need to say that I think needs to be said, in terms of the state of the world and what I think we need to be doing about it. And doing it in an entertaining way. And anything I can't say in that area, I want to say through documentaries, which I'm continuing."

So where does that leave Battle Angel? It's always possible that Cameron simply didn't mention it, and that he still considers the flick a back-burner project that he'll get done eventually. But Avatar 2 isn't expected until 2016 these days, and if he wants to end up having made four of these massive flicks, how long will that take? Until we get a little reassurance from the man himself, we've got some serious doubts about Battle Angel's future.

(Via New York Times)

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