James Cameron: 'Avatar 4' is a Prequel and Updates on 'Battle Angel'
Just last week we learned from producer Jon Landau that Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 would be the only sequels shot back-to-back. Of course, that didn't preclude the possibility of seeing the talked about Avatar 4, but it just meant that it would be a long time before it would actually happen. Now we have word from James Cameron himself on the fourth installment of the gestating franchise, and it's definitely in the nascent stages of development. Cameron told MTV, "I have an idea for a fourth." And that idea will explore the origins of the relationship between the humans and Na'vi on the luscious planet of Pandora. Read on!
Cameron elaborated on his idea:
"I haven't really put pen to paper on it, but basically it goes back to the early expeditions of Pandora, and kind of what went wrong with the humans and the Na'vi and what that was like to be an explorer and living in that world. Because when we drop in, even in the first film in 'Avatar 1,' as it will be known in the future, we're dropping into a process that's 35 years in to a whole colonization.
That will complete an arc and if that leads into more, we'll start, not imitating 'Star Wars,' but it's a logical thing to do because we'll have completed the thematic arc by the end of three. The only thing left to do is go back to see what it was like on those first expeditions and create some new characters that then become legacy characters in later films. It's a plan."
Sounds like something fans of the original film can look forward to, but I'll wait to see if the sequels are a little less derivative and have a more engaging story. Speaking of which, how about a different project from James Cameron that doesn't deal with blue aliens? Producer Jon Landau has another update for us on Battle Angel, the adaptation of Yukito Kishiro's popular manga series from the 90's known as Battle Angel Alita. The bad news is that the adaptation is still years away, but the good news is that it seems to be a priority. Landau talked to Moviezine and said:
"I am confident you will see it. It's one of my favorite stories, I think it is an incredible story, a journey of self-discovery of a young woman. It is a movie that begs the question: What does it mean to be human? Are you human if you have a heart, are you human if you have a mind, are you human if you have a soul?" And I look forward to bringing that film to audiences."
But when it comes to casting the lead role of Alita, a female cyborg warrior who is rescued from a scrapheap beneath the floating city of Tiphares by a cybermedic expert in the 26th century, Landau doesn't want to get ahead of himself. He says, "Who we would want to cast today, and who we would want to cast when we get down to making the film, might be two totally different people who would be right for the role." So it's better just to keep the speculation down until the project gets closer to reality. But when might that be? Landau finishes saying, "We'll focus on Avatar for the next four or five years, hopefully right after that." I guess that at least gives us a lot to look forward to in the next five years.