James Cameron Options Story About Survivors of Hiroshima
by Ethan Anderton
January 8, 2010
James Cameron is the "king of the world" yet again as Avatar keeps climbing the box office charts, just recently surpassing Lord of the Rings: Return of the King as the second highest grossing film of all time. Although Cameron has confirmed that there will be a sequel to the revolutionary blockbuster, it looks like his next project could potentially move into the real world as Variety reports he has used his own funding to option Charles Pellegrino's upcoming nonfiction book The Last Train from Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back, a compilation of real life accounts from survivors of the two infamous WWII nuclear bombings.
While Variety says he's definitely eyeing this as a potential directing gig, I'm not so sure that this could turn out to be another narrative film. After all, Cameron is no stranger to documentaries, having produced several about the Titanic as well as nature's underwater marvels. Apparently while Cameron was in Japan promoting Avatar, he was able to step away from his busy schedule to meet with Tsutomu Yamaguchi, one of the last survivors of the devastating United States' bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that effectively ended World War II. Sadly, Mr. Yamaguchi, who was the only survivor to experience the full effects of the explosions at ground zero both times, died this past Monday.
However documentary friendly this story may be, it's still possible that a compelling ensemble narrative could be drawn from this book (not set to hit shelves until January 19th) "which takes place over two days and weaves together eyewitness accounts of the Japanese civilians and American pilots who experience the atomic explosions firsthand." With 30 people known to have fled Hiroshima only to be in time for the bombing in Nagasaki and still survive the blasts, there's plenty of source material to put together one hell of a dramatic and poignant historical film. But as of now, the film has not been set up at 20th Century Fox or even at Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment. So we'll have to wait to see what happens with this project.