James Cameron’s name was first attached to a film version of the manga Battle Angel Alita years ago, generating a lot of excitement that Cameron was going to be returning to science fiction, a genre that had been awfully good to him over the years (Aliens, the Terminator movies, and my personal favorite, The Abyss). Unfortunately for Battle Angel fans, the project got slipped to the back burner to make way for one of Cameron’s passion projects, a little indie flick called Avatar. A few years and a couple billion dollars later, there are Avatar sequels in the works, but we haven’t heard much about Battle Angel‘s fate. In a new interview with MTV News, however, Cameron says that Battle Angel is prioritized behind the Avatar movies because he believes they can do more good for the world.
Claiming that your movies could change the world for the better seems like a bit of aggrandizement more suited to Lady in the Water-era M. Night Shyamalan, but then again the self-appointed “king of the world” has never been known for his disarming humility. He went on to explain that:
I see the good the Avatar franchise can do in terms of keeping a world audience cognizant of our relationship with nature, but doing it in an entertainment context. Ultimately I think there’s more good to be done there than with Battle Angel. Battle Angel is just a great, kick ass story.
Despite his commitment to getting the Avatar movies done first, he isn’t bailing on Battle Angel either. In fact, he claims that the project would “have to be pried out of my cold dead fingers.” So, we may still see a Cameron-directed Battle Angel Alita movie, but it’s definitely going to be a long wait. Avatar 2 isn’t expected to arrive until at least 2015, and there’s still a third one in line behind that.
For those of you who aren’t Battle Angel fans, the original 1990 manga series tells the story of an amnesiac cyborg who becomes a bounty hunter and searches to uncover her own forgotten past.
Personally, I wish he would have stuck to making the Forbidden Planet prequel based on the surprisingly awesome script by Babylon 5‘s J. Michael Straczynski, but I think that’s now lodged firmly in development hell. Le sigh…