James Cameron Quickly Updates His Battle Angel Adaptation
A few people have been asking me what this Battle Angel project listed on James Cameron's upcoming filmography is all about. Here's our chance to explain what the movie is and give you a little update on it. James Cameron spoke with both MTV and MarketSaw recently and gave them each some juicy morsels of information on Battle Angel. The project is an adaptation of Yukito Kishiro's popular manga series from the 90's known as Battle Angel Alita. In short, the futuristic sci-fi manga is about a female cyborg warrior who is rescued from a scrapheap beneath the floating city of Tiphares by a cybermedic expert in the 26th century.
"We're not that far down the line," Cameron said. "We have a very good script and we've done a lot of production design. We've done about a year of production design and we've put together an art reel that shows the arc of the film. It's pretty much just add water and we're ready to go." So maybe Cameron could get to this before he returns to Pandora in an Avatar sequel? Not exactly. "I'm not even sure that I'm going to do that film at this point. I might, I still like it, but it seems like every time I make a movie it changes my perception of what I want to make next," he told MarketSaw. Instead, The Dive is probably Cameron's next.
What is one of the reasons Cameron is holding back on Battle Angel? The technology just isn't there yet.
"The mixture of live-action and CG is a little trickier in 3-D than it is 2-D," Cameron told MTV. "Now we see it's good to have done Avatar first before Battle Angel, because the tricky scenes are where you're blending live-action photography, stereoscopic photography and CG."
"Shooting live stuff in 3-D and then adding CG characters and landscapes beyond that, that's a little tricky," he explained.
You might be wondering why this is a problem if they made Avatar look as good as it does. Well, I have a feeling Cameron wants to make Alita - the cyborg girl - a completely CG character like the Na'vi in Avatar. But most of the movie would be otherwise be shot live action with real actors and real sets. So basically he's combining a completely CGI character with live actors who would be performing a sound stage, which they did a little bit of in Avatar. But he's saying that the technology still needs to progress further for them to be able to actually make Battle Angel. In essence, he wants another brilliant T-1000 character all over again.
That's what I love about James Cameron. Back in 1991 when he was making Terminator 2, he wanted a character that was unlike anything we'd ever seen before, and would look and act exactly like a robot from the future with a metal alloy that could form any shape it wanted. He didn't let technology hold him back and he created a flawless CGI character that still holds up today. Now, I think, he wants to do something similar with Battle Angel and create a CGI cyborg character that feels completely real but is actually just a cyborg. Pretty interesting when you think about it. But will he direct Battle Angel next? Only time will tell!